Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Wednesday evening road game against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center as the Lakers looked for a second straight win, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:
Lakers: Fisher, Bryant, Artest, Gasol and Bynum
Mavericks: J. Kidd, S. Pavlovic*, S. Marion, D. Nowitzki, T. Chandler
*Pavlovic, the former Cleveland Cavalier, was signed on a 10-day contract last week and is making his first start, with Jason Terry returning to the bench in a spot previously occupied by Caron Butler before his knee injury.
5:54 It was a strong opening stanza for the Lakers, capped by a 6-0 run featuring an Andrew Bynum dunk, Pau Gasol hook and Derek Fisher jumper that made it 13-8, causing Mavs coach Rick Carlisle to call time out. The Lakers were conceding some good open perimeter looks to the Mavs, but Dallas was largely unable to convert.
2:30 Focused more upon packing the paint, particularly with Bynum staying in the game as Lamar Odom came in for Gasol, the Lakers had conceded eight three-pointers, many of them good looks, but Dallas couldn’t capitalize until their eighth attempt, which Kidd got to fall. L.A. quickly responded with a 5-0 run, however, to open a 24-16 lead. Capping the run was Fisher, fresh off his season-high 15-point game, who hit a triple to go 3-for-4 in the early goings.
0:36.5 The Lakers continued to get good looks on offense, Bryant the latest to make two straight shots in a 12-for-20 start, while the Mavericks were largely confined to the perimeter, operating without a real low post threat. Butler had been able to post up many guards and small forwards while healthy, but with him out and Dirk still getting healthy, it wasn’t almost all long two’s and three-pointers taken by Dallas, on pace to attempt 40 triples (2-for-10).
7:47 It wasn’t a great stretch for L.A.’s bench unit, which saw their team’s lead cut in half as Jason Terry went for five points. Nonetheless, the Lakers were controlling tempo, looking far more comfortable getting the shots they wanted while Dallas continued to depend upon perimeter J’s … And sure enough, it caught up with the home team moments later, with jumpers clanging off, and the Lakers taking advantage at the other end to open their biggest lead at 45-35 on Shannon Brown’s put-back layup.
1:00 With a short hook shot, Gasol scored the 13,000th point of his career, then went on to convert an and-1 to reach 17 points in the half on 8-of-12 shooting. Dirk had lots of trouble with the Spaniard on the block, and L.A. smartly continued to call his number.
0:00 Despite Gasol’s success inside, the Lakers left much to be desired at the other end of the floor, allowing the Mavs several open looks at triples. After missing their first eight of the game, they caught collective fire to hit 7-of-8, keeping it close at the half with a 56-52 scoreline. The Lakers controlled the glass 22-17 and points in the paint 30-16, but were very poor running the Mavs off the three-point line as an Antonio did so successfully in the first round of last year’s playoffs.
5:50 Kidd, who has struggled considerably of late from the field while literally going 1-for-14 in his last two games, scored seven straight points for the Mavericks all on perimeter jumpers to cut the Lakers’ lead to a single point.
2:47 A tough combo of poor Lakers defense (still not closing out on shooters) and six turnovers at the other end contributed to a 15-5 run for the Mavs, allowing a 72-69 lead along with the re-entrance of the crowd into the game. The Lakers had plenty of time to regain control, but Phil Jackson couldn’t have been happy with how things had turned.
0:00 It got worse quickly for L.A., however, as we’re starting to sound like a broken record in saying the Lakers would not get out on Mavs shooters, allowing two more open threes from Kidd and Pavlovic, respectively, the Mavs pushing suddenly to an 11-point lead. Gasol did manage a tip-in to make it 82-73 after three, reaching 21 points.
9:03 Perhaps seeing all of those shots go down against the twice defending champs snapped the Mavs out of the funk of their 6-game losing streak? Their lead reached a game-high 13 points when Dirk hit a tough baseline jumper.
5:46 Kobe tried to energize the Lakers again with two straight jumpers, but as had been the case all second half, the Mavs responded with a run, this time 7-0, capped by Terry’s corner three. Odom did counter with an and-1 triple at the other end to cut the lead from 16 to 97-85, but the Lakers may have dug themselves too big a hole…
3:00 Even a scoring burst from Odom, who posted a 4-point play when getting fouled on a three, a layup and an and-1, wasn’t enough as Nowitzki’s and-1 at the rim made it 104-91 for the Mavs. The Lakers failed to take an opportunity to distance themselves from Dallas and close in a bit on the Spurs in what was a very winnable game, losing defensive focus until the Mavs built too much momentum to counter.
Final: Dallas 109, Lakers 100; L.A. will have a chance to right the ship on Friday in always-tough-to-play-in Denver.
13,000 Career points reached by Pau Gasol late in the second quarter, becoming the sixth-fastest player to 13K points, 6K rebounds, 2K assists and 1K steals in NBA history. The other players on that list, in order: Chris Webber (fastest), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and David Robinson.
30 Points allowed by the Lakers in what proved to be a decisive third quarter, managing only 17 points themselves, as Dallas erased an 8-point lead to open a 9-point edge of their own entering the fourth period.
14 Points in the fourth quarter for Lamar Odom, who totaled 20 in the game along with 10 rebounds.
12 Three-pointers made by the Mavericks after missing their first eight of the game, a major factor in the contest. Jason Kidd made 5-of-8, and Jason Terry 4-of-6, the two combining for 43 points. Factoring in Shawn Marion’s 22 bench points, the three vets were the clear reason Dallas broke its six-game losing streak.
10 Assists for Kobe Bryant, who played facilitator for much of the contest, though he did add 21 points on 10-of-18 field goals, including nine points in the fourth quarter.