To make matters even more difficult for the Lakers, the No. 7 Dallas Mavericks have the easiest remaining schedule in the NBA, the report added. The teams play consecutive games next week, giving the Mavs the chance to potentially vault over the Lakers and send LeBron and company to the play-in tournament, where another meeting with Curry and the Warriors could be waiting.

Curry Leads Warriors Surge

While the injury-plagued Lakers have struggled to stay afloat, the Warriors have begun to turn their fortunes after early season struggles. The team is currently on a season-best four-game winning streak and have won six out of the last 10, with Curry enjoying one of the best scoring stretches of his career.

Curry has averaged 39.9 points across seven games in April, and his stretch of nine straight games with 30 points or more is the first time anyone has done that in a half-century for the Warriors. That included a 53-point outburst against the Denver Nuggets — a game in which Curry passed Wilt Chamberlain for the Warriors all-time scoring title — and a blowout win over the Oklahoma City Thunder where Curry hit 11 three-pointers through three quarters.

Speaking to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols after the Thunder win, Curry said he likes the opportunity the Warriors have with the play-in tournament.

“I like the opportunity that’s in front of us,” Curry said. “We have an opportunity to make this season mean something down the stretch because of the play-in. The opportunity of peaking at the right time.

“I’m sure there are gonna be a lot of opinions on it, and we’ll see how it plays out. But I’m with it.”

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