The Lakers head to Dallas for the first game of a Texas back-to-back against the Mavericks. The Lakers are coming off one of their worst showings of the season in a home loss to the Denver Nuggets and have now lost seven of their last eight games.
The team has decided to keep Pau Gasol for the time being, but has waived forward Shawne Williams to avoid paying the rest of his contract for the season. The Mavericks are 19-15 but coming off a loss to the New York Knicks.
Jodie Meeks got the team off to a great start with seven quick points and he and Pau Gasol scored 18 of the team’s first 20 points. Unfortunately the Lakers failed to take care of the ball and the Mavericks made them pay. Jose Calderon had five assists in the first nine minutes and Shawn Marion and Dejuan Blair scored eight points each as the Mavericks built a 25-20 lead. Ryan Kelly would come in and provide a spark as he would draw a foul and then assist on a Wesley Johnson three-pointer. Defense was optional in this quarter as both teams got hot at the end of the quarter. Despite three straight Jordan Hill baskets the Lakers trail 33-31 after the first.
The Lakers got off to a slow start in the second quarter, but three-pointers by Ryan Kelly and Jodie Meeks kept the team close early in the quarter. The Lakers were unable to guard Dirk Nowitzki as he hit six of his first eight shots. Meeks had three steals only halfway through the second quarter and his free throws tied the game at 43. The Lakers defense is their worst enemy so far as the Mavs were shooting 60 percent halfway through the quarter. Sacre’s turnover and subsequent Mavericks fastbreak layup pushed the Mavs lead to six as Vince Carter came in off the bench to score 12 points. The teams traded some misses over the last minute of the half and a Jordan Hill free throw brought the Lakers within seven as they trailed 60-53.
A Sacre jumper got the scoring started for the Lakers but they went cold for a while before a Kendall Marshall three got them going again. The defense continued to be the main issue for the Lakers as baskets by Dejuan Blair and Dirk Nowitzki pushed the Mavs lead to ten. A Sacre jumper and Marshall three cut the lead in half. Marshall began heating up and had a couple of impressive layups, but his turnovers have been a problem tonight. The Lakers still trailed by nine with three minutes left in the quarter despite a good offensive showing. Wesley Johnson hit a beautiful three-pointer to cut the lead to eight and after a couple of traded baskets the Lakers trailed 85-77 at the end of the quarter.
Jodie Meeks hit a quick three to get the scoring going, followed by Dirk and Wesley trading baskets as the Lakers trailed only by five. The Lakers had a couple of horrible possessions in the beginning of the quarter, ending in Sacre and Hill fadeaways that missed. A Dirk jumper and the Mavs lead was back to seven. The Lakers look close to falling apart as back-to-back turnovers lead to Monta Ellis baskets and the Mavs are back up 11. The Lakers offense continued to put up a fight but ultimately their defense couldn’t get the stops needed as they would fall to the Mavericks, 110-97.