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City in ruins: L.A. reels from Lakers' capitulation in humiliating sweep

Basketball fans in Los Angeles cannot escape the depressing news: The NBA champion Lakers lost four straight to the Dallas Mavericks, and looked pretty bad doing it.

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Dallas Mavericks' Jason Terry shoots against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of Game 4 of a second-round NBA playoff basketball series, on Sunday, May 8, in Dallas. The Mavericks won 122-86, and swept the series.

Richard W. Rodriguez/AP

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This is a town filled with diehard basketball fans trying to escape the bad news, and failing.

“It’s everywhere, where am I supposed to go?” says Ty Duvay, whacking copies of L.A.’s two major newspapers down on a coffee shop table here, each with photo spreads on both Page 1 and the front of the Sports section.

“Lakers lose their cool and series,” says a caption on Page 1 of the Los Angeles Times. In the photo, Lakers center Andrew Bynum is being ejected from Sunday’s 122-86, Game 4 loss to the Dallas Mavericks after a flagrant fourth-quarter foul on Dallas guard J.J. Barea.

“I’m crushed, depressed, disappointed, in mourning,” says Mr. Duvay, quaffing a foam-covered latte with the despair of Humphrey Bogart at his bar in “Casablanca.” Outside at the curb, Duvay’s hearse-black SUV sports four, limp, purple-and-yellow “Go Lakers!” flags.

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