Inactives for Tonight’s Game
Lakers: Trevor Ariza, Andrew Bynum, Chris Mihm
Mavericks: Maurice Ager, Nick Fazekas, Jerry Stackhouse
9:09 – The game is starting at a much more deliberate pace than we saw in San Antonio. The Lakers are getting clean looks and have hit them thus far. On the Mavs side, Dirk has gotten their points by backing Lamar down. We’ll see how the Lakers adapt to that. On the other end, Lamar settled for a jumper, he should probably be attacking the hoop to test Dirk’s defensive chops.
5:31 The Mavs are running through their bench, having already brought in Diop, Terry, and Hassell. DJ Mbenga is in for Kwame after he picks up a foul helping on Nowitzki. He got fouled on one lob to the basket and then again for 2 shots. The Lakers hit Kwame to start the game for a lay-in. They are certainly continuing the same style of attack in Bynum’s absence. At least early in the game.
3:36 – The Lakers have gotten into the penalty early and have gotten free throws on their last 2 possessions, including one off a defensive rebound, away from the ball. The Mavs are substituting enough to prevent one guy from getting into foul trouble. The crowd is dead, even though their team isn’t playing poorly and it’s early. The lack of energy makes it feel like a dull game.
2:35 – DJ secures the rebound off a Kobe behind the backboard shot and puts it back in. He misses the 3 point play, but he has played effectively against his old team.
1:01 – The Mavs have tied it up and on the next possession, Howard falls for Kobe’s dirty trick. He sticks his arm out and Kobe obliges by going up. The call seems pretty weak, but sometimes if you put yourself in that situation, you will get the call against you. On the free throw, some cheers of M-V-P break out. They aren’t drowned out as they were in San Antonio.
End of 1st Quarter – Lakers 31, Mavericks 28
Kobe drives to the basket twice to end the quarter. He made it look pretty easy. Avery Johnson picked up a T at the end as well, for reasons that still aren’t clear. The Lakers shot well in the first quarter, except for Lamar. As a team they are at 67%. The Lakers also got 17 free throws and the Mavs 10, whereas there was just one made 3 pointer by both teams.
8:56 The continues going back and forth as the Lakers retain a two point lead. Kobe’s got 16-points and he’s only taken 5 shots (making four of them). As a team the Lakers have taken 17 free throws right now, but only converted 11 of them.
8:13 Brandon Bass is looking very Udoka like tonight. Not in his facial expressions, his skill set, or anything like that. Just that he’s a role player that is lighting it up against the Lakers in a way he never should.
6:00 The Mavs take the lead at 44-43 and Mark Cuban starts acting like I expect Mark Cuban to act. Lots of fist pumps and flailing of arms. Cuban was out on the court before the game shooting hoops by himself. I’ve never seen Dr. Buss out there hooping it up pre-game but I’m sure he does that at home before he comes down to the arena.
5:02 We head into a break with Dallas up three. Kobe keeps rolling along and is up to 20 points and still has only taken six shots. The rest of the team is having a hard time getting involved as Fish has 9, but no one else is above 5.
3:21 Luke picks up his 3rd foul on a Josh Howard drive/tear-drop from behind the basket combo. Sasha will replace him. Howard leads the Mavs in scoring tonight as the Lakers are having a tough time covering him. Now Lamar slides over to try his hand at it.
Dallas leads 56-55. The Lakers have to be feeling like they should be winning this game. They’re shooting a high percentage, they’re playing decent D against a Mavs squad that is tough to matchup with, even the free throws have come around to a respectable 72%, yet they’re losing by one. LA only has two points off of three Dallas turnovers while the Mavs have converted the Lakers five turnovers into 10 points.
9:38 Still no points this half for the Purple & Gold. The Mavs on the other hand have gotten four from Dirk and three from Devin Harris and have extended their lead to 8 points. Two quick turnovers haven’t helped the Lakers cause.
6:02 Luke’s fourth puts the Mavs into the penalty for the rest of the quarter. That’s a long time to be shooting free throws. Sasha once again spells Luke. Mavs up 74-63.
3:41 Devin Harris is killing Jordan right now. On the upside Kwame made a bucket from outside of the paint. On the down side the Lakers are down by the biggest margin of the night at 80-67.
2:51 82-68 Dallas. The Lakers haven’t been able to find their offensive flow this quarter and are getting beat pretty badly on the other end as well. Lamar needs to step up and give us something in the next 15 minutes. So far we’re looking at 4 points, 2 boards, and 2 assists on the night. Oh yea, he’s been swatted twice as well.
2:35 The ball gets bounced all over the place and in the end Trenton Hassell ends up falling down as Kobe’s trying to step and catches his ankle. Bryant stays down on the floor for an extended period before the team is forced to call a TO and trainer Gary Vitti can come out to assist #24. Kobe is standing in the huddle so it appears that there are no serious concerns, but every time that guy goes down my heart beats just a little bit faster.
2:28 Kobe’s down again after charging back to attempt a block on Hassell. The replay shows that they got tangled in the air and both hit the ground hard. Kobe for a piece of the courtside camera man and is still in pain as Hassell goes to the line. It’s getting rough out there for the Bean.
1:10 The Machine is heating up with back-to-back trey balls. Mavs still up 11.
0:00 A couple of ill-timed turnovers and fouls have the Mavs up by a large margin (91-74) heading into the final frame. Dallas just put together a +16 quarter
9:49 – 5 quick points off Jordan, both started by Ronny’s play on the defensive end, get a quick timeout from Dallas. If the Lakers are going to get back into this, they need to cut off penetration and stop the turnovers. The turnovers aren’t out of hand, but Dallas has been lethal converting them into points.
8:04 – Jordan has picked it up. He hits another 3 and draws a foul. The defense has been resulting in tougher Dallas looks.
5:45 – It’s down to 7 and the Lakers are once again on the knife’s edge. The next possessions will dictate whether the Lakers are in it until the end or if the Mavs will coast home. Jordan has rallied after some early difficulties. He is up to 18 points.
4:46 – Kobe anticipates the play and makes the steal and draws the clear path foul, perhaps thanks to aggressive lobbying by Sasha. Kobe makes both and then the follow up possession and the lead is down to 5.
Phil has kept the line-up of Kobe, Jordan, Sasha, Ronny and DJ out there for an extended run. They have played with the energy Phil is looking for and are generating results.
3:25 – Ronny gets mauled beneath the basket and then gives the slightest of frustration shoves to Nowitzki. Then he gets T’ed up. On the next possession he gets openly held and nothing. Thankfully, DJ converts the 3 point play, but the refs are going to make Ronny turn green and rip his shirt off if they keep it up.
1:45 – The Lakers are down by 9 after fighting back to 5. Lamar is in for DJ for a final offensive push.
1:18 – 2 Kobe free throws and a drive to the hoop and it’s back down to 5. The Lakers can’t give up any more points, pure and simple.
End of Game – Lakers 105, Mavericks 112