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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks: In Big D, that's D for determination

The Los Angeles Lakers play the Dallas Mavericks in Game 2 of their NBA Western Division playoff series. What must the Lakers do to win? The game starts Wednesday 10:30 p.m. Eastern time.

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Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki celebrates making a three pointer over Los Angeles Lakers' Lamar Odom in Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference semifinals. Game 2 is Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

Danny Moloshok/Reuters

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The Dallas Mavericks, in the previous four seasons, haven’t gotten past the first round of the NBA playoffs.

But that was then.

Since blowing a 23-point lead in Game 4 of their initial-round Western Division series against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Dallas Mavericks have demonstrated the resiliency of a championship team. The Maverick's 96-94 comeback victory over the Los Angeles Lakers Monday night was more confirmation of the mental toughness that's becoming a hallmark of this team.

In fact, it was the Lakers – winners of the past two NBA crowns – who looked uncharacteristically lost on their home court. In the fourth quarter, the Lakers had two key turnovers and a bad foul by Pau Gasol in the last half-minute which contributed to a huge comeback by the Mavericks – who erased a 16-point deficit.

Help from the bench

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