Coming off a win against the Indiana Pacers that snapped a five-game losing streak, the Los Angeles Lakers hit the road to face the Dallas Mavericks. Sunday’s game was the first of a stretch of eight road games in the next 10 contests.
Much of that presumably will have to come without starting point guard D’Angelo Russell, as the second-year player suffered a sprained MCL and bone bruise in Friday’s game. The injury is expected to keep Russell out a minimum of 1-2 weeks.
Sunday marked the Lakers’ third matchup this season against the Mavericks, with Dallas winning the first two. The Mavericks have otherwise struggled this season however, as they entered the game tied for the worst record in the Western Conference at 14-29.
Dallas got off to a hot start behind seven points on 3-of-3 shooting from Seth Curry. His early scoring propelled the Mavericks to a 13-6 lead. The Lakers responded with five straight points as Luol Deng connected on a 3-pointer and Julius Randle finished in the paint to cut the team’s to two.
After a pair of free throws by Mavericks center Salah Mejri, Nick Young hit a three and Randle scored again to give the Lakers a 16-15 lead midway through the first quarter.
Los Angeles did not close the quarter well, as the Mavericks rode a 9-0 run to lead 29-22 after the first.
That run continued into the second quarter for Dallas, as they scored seven straight points, leading to Lakers head coach Luke Walton calling a timeout. Five of those points came from Dirk Nowitzki, giving him nine points at that juncture in the game.
It took three minutes but the Lakers finally got on the board in the second quarter to stop what ended up being a 15-0 run for Dallas, as Randle made one of two free throws.
The Lakers’ defense struggled mightily in the second, and the few shots that Dallas did miss, the Lakers could not coral the rebounds. The Mavericks capitalized on their second-chance opportunities, scoring eight points in such instances.
Dallas outscored the Lakers 38-11 in the second quarter, and took a 67-33 lead into halftime. The Mavericks shot 50 percent from the field overall and were 9-of-20 from the three-point line.
Nowitzki and Wesley Matthews score 13 point each, while Curry was right behind them with 12. The Lakers struggles were not only on defense, but also on the offensive end as they shot just 35.1 percent from the field. Young led them in scoring with nine points on 3-of-7 shooting.
The Lakers defense improve in the third quarter, but unfortunately their offense continued to struggle as each team scored just seven points in the first seven minutes of the quarter.
Still trailing by 34, the Lakers needed to make some sort of run to get back in the game, but there was no run to be had in the third quarter.
Dallas outscored the Lakers 23-22 in the third quarter, and took a 90-55 lead into the fourth quarter. The one positive for the Lakers in the third quarter was the return off Larry Nance Jr.
Nance missed the last few weeks with a knee injury, and in his first game back Nance played 10 minutes through the first three quarters and made both of his shots for four points.
The Mavericks lead ballooned to 41 early in the fourth quarter at 101-59. Oddly enough though at that point their leading scorer was Curry, who had 14 points. Six Mavericks were in double-figures, as Nowitzki, Matthews and Derron Williams had 13 points each.
The onslaught continued throughout the final quarter, as there was no comeback to be had for the Lakers and they lost their 13th straight game to the Mavericks, 122-73. Their 49-point loss set the record for worst loss in franchise history.