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NBA - US Sports: LeBron still believes in Lakers

LeBron James remains convinced Los Angeles Lakers are legitimate championship contenders after Tuesday's loss to Dallas Mavericks.

The Lakers are 33/1 to win the NBA Championship outright and the Mavs can be backed at 33/1.

Hanging onto hope

The Lakers are clinging on to a play-in place in the Western Conference and an automatic playoff spot already looks out of reach.  

The LA outfit appeared on course to claim a crucial win against the visiting Mavs on Tuesday as they opened up a 100-94 lead but they were outscored 15-4 in the final seven-and-a-half minutes as Dallas came away with a 109-104 win.

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Time running out

James admits the Lakers need to get back to winning ways quickly if they are to mount a title bid, but he insists there is enough quality within the squad to challenge for the championship.

"We still have games to play," he said, via ESPN. "Until you stomp me out, cut my head off, bury me 12 feet under, then I got a chance. So that's my confidence."

He added: "Obviously, at the end of the day, we got to come in here and win ball games, and we got to play better. But as long as we've got more games to play, we should have a chance. So, that's my confidence. I hate losing."

The Lakers have a 27-34 overall record and sit in ninth place in the West, just two games ahead of Portland Trail Blazers outside of the postseason spots with 21 games left to play.

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