The Los Angeles Lakers look to pick up their 13th win of the season as they meet up with the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night. Both clubs will be missing players due to injury, with Dirk Nowitzki and J.J. Barea out of action for the Mavs and Larry Nance Jr. and Tarik Black sidelined for the Lakers.
Check out our full recap below:
The Lakers began the game with their now-standard starting lineup of D’Angelo Russell, Nick Young, Luol Deng, Julius Randle, and Timofey Mozgov, while the Mavs countered with Deron Williams, Wesley Matthews, Dorian Finney-Smith, Harrison Barnes, and Andrew Bogut. The Mavs got the game going with a quick dunk for Harrison Barnes, which wasn’t a good sign for the Lakers’ defense, just as the Randle three that Los Angeles settled for on the other end wasn’t a good sign for the offense.
After a three from Finney-Smith and a Barnes trip to the free throw line after he baited Randle into a foul, the Mavs had an early 7-0 lead. Russell responded with a runner in the paint. The Lakers then got going with a phenomenal no-look pass by Russell to a cutting Deng and a pair of Young threes to jump out to a 10-7 lead.
Russell looked active early and knocked down a three to push L.A. up by six. The Mavs responded with a few quick buckets, and coach Luke Walton signaled for a timeout with his Lakers up, 15-11.
Young came out firing again, knocking down two more threes to bring his total to four in the first quarter alone. Russell made a nice cut to the basket and got the pass from Young and the starting backcourt for the Lakers was flying. Unfortunately, the Mavs continued to chip away at the lead, and an and-one for Devin Harris cut it to four, 23-19.
Jordan Clarkson and Lou Williams took over in the backcourt while Brandon Ingram and Thomas Robinson came on for Randle and Mozgov. Clarkson’s miss was tipped in by Robinson, and after a stop Williams was able to get to the basket for a bucket of his own. The Mavs seemed determined to get to the rim, which isn’t a bad strategy with Mozgov out, but Los Angeles was able to do enough to keep them from getting easy baskets.
Barnes scored over Deng on a running hook and then Harris scored on a nice step-back on Clarkson to finish the quarter with the Lakers only up by one, 27-26.
The Lakers started the second quarter with a turnover after a charge on Robinson, then followed that up with another turnover from Clarkson when he had the ball knocked off his knee on a drive. Clarkson recovered by getting a steal on the defensive end and then slamming home a thunderous dunk over Bogut.
Williams and Robinson ran the pick and roll well, and the Lakers lead ballooned to nine. The Mavs kept fighting, with Bogut getting a tip-in at the rim and Barnes finding ways to score inside, but Clarkson got going both with his drive and jumper to keep the Lakers comfortably in front.
Willimas scored on a crafty scoop out of a timeout, and after a stop Randle rolled to the rim for a strong finish on Dwight Powell. Powell got revenge on the next play by poking the ball away from Randle and then finishing an alley-oop on the offensive end. After a missed three by Russell, Powell again got a dunk to reduce the Lakers lead to five and Walton had to take a timeout.
On the next possession, Randle drove to the rim and finished. Deng picked off a pass on the other end, and an and-one for Randle put the Lakers back up by 10. Barnes connected on a jumper, but a nice feed from Russell found Deng rolling to the basket for a couple of free throws, of which he made one.
The Lakers got a bit mixed up by a zone Dallas threw at them, but Russell was able to exploit Deron Williams one-on-one to score anyway. Russell then hit a runner in the lane, but Finney-Smith knocked down a three to finish the half with the Lakers up 57-50. Russell was the high scorer with 13 points.
The Lakers started the second half with a missed jumper from Mozgov, and the Mavs got a three from Finney-Smith. Randle, who had drifted too far from Finney-Smith on the previous play, got an and-one on the next possession to atone. Unfortunately, Randle lost the ball to Finney-Smith on the next play for a Deron Williams layup, and then Finney-Smith got a tip-in off a Barnes miss to pull the Mavs to within three and require an early timeout from Walton.
The Lakers got a boost from Young’s fifth three-pointer on the next possession, but then left Matthews wide open for him to answer with a three of his own. Young hit a jumper and the Lakers finally got a stop after solid defense from Russell forced a Matthews miss. The Lakers defense got out of position on a Barnes/Williams pick-and-roll, resulting in a pair of free throws for Barnes that brought Dallas to within one.
Ingram came in for Deng as the Lakers went cold from the field, and a Matthews three gave the Mavs a two-point lead, and another pushed it to five. The energy the Lakers started the game with was gone.
Walton benched most of his starters to go with Ingram, Deng, Williams, Clarkson, and Robinson. A Robinson drive gave the Lakers their first field goal in five minutes, but by that point, the damage had been done. The Lakers offense devolved into a series of one-on-one and pick-and-roll attempts that led to hurried jumpers with the clock winding down.
A Clarkson three was much-needed, but again it came off of a broken play that required a desperation heave. A dunk by Powell and three by Harris swung the momentum right back in the Mavs’ favor. After a technical foul on Lou Williams, the Mavs finished the third up 11, 81-70.
The Lakers started the fourth with their bench intent on bringing the team back from the brink. Unfortunately, they largely traded baskets, with the Mavs now brimming with confidence and knocking down shots from the perimeter.
It also didn’t help that the Lakers’ pick-and-roll defense continued to be a mess, allowing Salah Mejri to dive to the rim for an uncontested dunk. Barnes came back and hit a three to push the Dallas lead to fourteen, their largest of the game. Ingram was able to take the ball to the basket for the layup, but Los Angeles would need to right the ship quickly and go on a big run to get back into the game.
The Mavs continued to execute and the turnovers kept coming for the Lakers, who found themselves down sixteen with three and a half minutes to play.
Sloppy play and poor defense was ultimately the Lakers undoing, and they fell to the Mavs, 101-89.