Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 4/14/12
After the Dallas Mavericks swept them out of last year's postseason, the Los Angeles Lakers now could return the favor. Possibly doing it without Kobe Bryant might further build their confidence for a potential playoff rematch. While coach Mike Brown is expected to return, Bryant's status remains up in the air as the surging Lakers go for a season sweep of the defending NBA champions Sunday at Staples Center. The offseason trade of Lamar Odom to the Mavericks appeared to further turn the tide against Los Angeles in this rivalry, but that deal was a bust - Dallas says Odom won't play again this season - and the Lakers have won all three meetings. A Lakers sweep wouldn't be nearly as shocking as the Mavericks needing only four games to oust Los Angeles in the Western Conference semifinals last May. That could have signaled the end of Bryant's Lakers being a true title contender, particularly with them trailing the Clippers in the Pacific Division for much of this season, but they'v...
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