With the Los Angeles Lakers in the midst of a six-game losing streak, they will look to finally break their funk as they settle in at the Staples Center for the first of a five game homestand against the Dallas Mavericks. Kobe made headlines a few days ago after he called out the young core following their 121-103 loss to the Portland Trailblazers, but would not play in the game due to a sore shoulder.
Meanwhile the Dallas Mavericks are also looking to break a two-game losing streak of their after a 115-104 loss against the Houston Rockets. In what is expected to be a competitive match-up, it will be interesting to see how the young guys for the Lakers respond to the Mamba’s comments.
Dallas struck on their first two possessions on back-to-back three’s from Wes Matthews and Chandler Parsons. Meanwhile Julius Randle scratched first for the purple and gold with consecutive buckets of hi own to cut the Dallas lead, 8-4. Parsons struck with another three-pointer before Randle answered back yet again with another bucket to keep the Lakers in the game 15-10. The Mavs continued to shoot at a high level with little difficulty as they quickly out themselves ahead 24-16 with a step-back from Deron Williams. Luckily their offense was in sync and able to answer back with shots of their own, this time on a reverse lay up from Jordan Clarkson to cut the lead to six with four minutes to go. The Lakers were able to tie it up at 24 after a Clarkson three, followed by a Dirk-like fadeaway jumper from D’Angelo Russell. However, it would be short-lived as the Mavericks would end the quarter on a 7-0 run to go up 32-25.
The Mavs got the second quarter going with a wide open jumper from JJ Barea to go up 34-25. The Lakers finally got their first field goal of the quarter with a spin inside the post and the finish by Brandon Bass to shorten the lead to five. Barea started to heat up with a couple of high floaters off the glass to extend the lead, 40-31. Lou Williams then made his presence felt with a three-pointer, followed by a steal and the finish on the other end to cut the lead to four. After going cold these last several weeks, Nick Young found the stroke with the three, as the purple and gold found themselves down just 44-41 midway through the quarter. After an alley-oop to Parsons, the purple and gold stormed back with consecutive buckets from Roy Hibbert to take a 48-47 lead. Both teams continued to trade buckets and the lead until they were gridlocked at 50 with a little under three minutes left in the half. Los Angeles was able to take control however, going up 58-56 at halftime.
Dirk got the first bucket of the second half with a patented turnaround jumper, while Clarkson answered back with a floater of his own to maintain a 60-58 lead. The Lakers started off hot to begin the half by hitting three of their first four shots to take a 66-60 lead. However, the Mavs were undeterred as they battled back with a couple three’s from Deron Williams to tie the game at 68. A Laker scoring drought gave Barea an opportunity to take back the lead with consecutive buckets to go up by four. Clarkson finally put an end to the near four-minute drought with a three-pointer to cut the lead 72-71. Careless fouls by the Lakers sent then Mavs to the line as they were able to take advantage of the charity stripe to take a 77-73 lead. But Los Angeles bounced back and recaptured the lead thanks to a three from Russell as they end the third quarter up 78-77.
Just like the third quarter, Dirk got the Mavs started with another one of his patented fadeaways on the baseline to go up by one. After starting off with back-to-back turnovers, the Lakers finally got a bucket with a jumper from Russell to bring the score to 81-80. This time the purple and gold took advantage of a Dallas dry spell by taking an 83-81 lead thanks to heads up passing that led to a strong finish by Tarik Black. The Lakers were able to pull ahead by three after a beautiful layup from Russell, but a pair of free throws from Parsons brought Dallas right back within one. A basket from Dirk gave the Mavericks the lead and a free throw from Russell tied it at 88 with 3:30 remaining. Dirk hit one of his patented jumpers and the Lakers struggled to attack the Mavs zone, remaining behind by a basket before Clarkson hit a runner to tie it at 90 with one minute left. Lou hit a floater, but it was negated due to an offensive foul call. Dirk hit another patented fadeaway over Randle to give Dallas a 92-90 lead with two seconds left. Randle had a shot to win, but barely missed a three as the Lakers fell 92-90.