• The Lakers are now on the brink of being eliminated
  • LeBron James is expected to still be sidelined in the team's next game
  • Lakers head coach Frank Vogel addresses the team's crucial loss to the Mavs

The Los Angeles Lakers badly need LeBron James to return and save the team from being eliminated this season.

The James-less Lakers terribly failed to get past the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, March 29 as Los Angeles lost 128-110.

It was a lopsided game as the Lakers trailed behind as much as 25 points in the early going and never managed to come close for the rest of the game.

Even worse, the Lakers faithful was struck with a bad news as James--who missed the game against Dallas due to an ankle injury--is expected to sit out Thursday’s match against the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported.

Anthony Davis, on the other hand, is “targeting a return” this weekend after missing the last 17 games.

“If Anthony Davis continues to progress in his rehab from an MCL sprain/foot sprain, he’s targeting a return on either Friday at home against New Orleans or Sunday when Denver visits, sources said,” Haynes wrote.

LeBron James #6, Anthony Davis #3 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James #6, Anthony Davis #3 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images | Kevork Djansezian

The loss to the Mavs saw the Lakers dropping down to the 11th spot in the Western Conference standings.

Simply put, Los Angeles will be eliminated as only the No. 7 to No. 10 teams will battle it out in the play-in tournament.

Speaking after the game, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel candidly addressed his team’s performance.

According to Vogel, the Lakers ultimately played a terrible game and there was no excuse for that.

“We just didn’t execute well enough and play with enough toughness, IQ, intelligence, focus, and fight in that half,” Vogel told reporters. “Not acceptable. Just a poor performance across the board. Coaches, players, everybody.”

“The standings are the results,” he added. “We have to keep our focus on the process and the work. The things that are going to lead to the next win. That’s the only place our focus will be.”

James, meanwhile, remains optimistic about making it to the post-season if he manages to heal up in time.

"Well, if I'm healthy, for sure,” James said. “Obviously I'm pretty banged up with that ankle. But I still feel like if I'm on the floor and I can make things happen then we still got a pretty good chance to make something out of this season."