The Los Angeles Lakers looked to build upon a rather impressive three game win streak tonight against the Dallas Mavericks after edging past the Phoenix Suns late last game for their fourth victory of the season.
The Lakers opted for the same starting line-up with D’Angelo Russell, Nick Young, Luol Deng, Julius Randle, and Timofey Mozgov to reign in these wild horses. Uncle P got the Lakers out the gates quickly, off to a white-hot start, making all three of his shot attempts and free-throws for all 11 of the Lakers’ points with over 9:41 left in the quarter, forcing Rick Carlisle to call a quick timeout.
Deng found Mozgov underneath the basket and managed to dish out a quick pass for the easy slam despite being swarmed by a plethora of navy blue jerseys.
After a missed shot on the defensive end, Deng galloped down the floor with the high-dribble before gunning it to the top of the key where Young had just set the table. Young’s three was off, eliciting disappointed drawls from the crowd, but Staples was quickly brought back to life by a rather graceful looking put-back by Julius Randle.
Brandon Ingram entered the game about midway through the quarter, immediately getting on the board with an acrobatic deuce that probably should’ve been an and-one.
Steph Curry’s brother, Seth Curry, managed to close the gap a bit with a quick three, making it 25-21 with 2:15 left in the quarter. It’d have been cut shorter, but a baseline dunk attempt was missed by Justin Anderson. Rick Carlisle called a timeout with a about 8 seconds left on the clock to draw up a quick play to try and inch closer, but proved to be fruitless as Ingram swatted the shot attempt into the third row. Lakers led 27-25 at the end of the first.
The Mavs started the second quarter with a failed lob attempt, but managed to tie the game a play later after the Lakers failed to get back defensively. One bad play led to another lob attempt, this time to Dwight Powell, who managed to redeem his teammate and incite Luke Walton to call a timeout.
Out of the timeout, Lou Williams knotted things back up at 29 with a floater. Justin Anderson went right around Jordan Clarkson, who’s feet were seemingly glued to the floor for the easy dunk. J.J. Barea’s next three came up woefully short, enabling Williams to start the break, finishing with a silky smooth finger roll right at the rim.
With about five minutes knocked off the clock, Clarkson went to the hole with a plan and put the Lakers up by two before doing his best Kobe impression with a quick pull-up jumper the second time down the floor. Down 41-37, Carlisle decided he needed to talk some sense into his team.
Things went from bad to worse from there. Nick Young entered the game with about 1.9 seconds on the shot clock. Even though he missed the shot, Williams was there to snatch up the rebound and dish it out only to get it back soon after for the three to put the Lakers ahead by 10.
However, sloppy play by the Lakers and a few huge buckets by Seth Curry allowed the Mavericks to end the half on a huge run and go into the locker room ahead 58-54.
The Mavs opened up the quarter on an extended 15-2 run. Russell made only his second bucket of the night and quickly added another basket, a rebound, and an insane no-look bounce-pass to the trailing Mozgov.
As the 3rd Quarter wound down, Russell began heating up, bringing the Lakers within three with over four minutes to go. Randle missed a gimme below the hoop a couple of plays later, but managed to recover and get the basket in the end.
Seth Curry continued to light the Lakers up with his terrific play. A turnover by the Mavs could have enabled the Lakers to come up with a much needed three to end the quarter, but the shot by Williams was a bit short.
Lakers down 83-77.
With 8 minutes to go in the final quarter, the Lakers managed to pull themselves within 2 thanks to a three by Lou Williams. Clarkson tied the game at 89 not even a play later and the Lakers would pull back ahead 91-89.
Unfortunately things went downhill from there as Dallas immediately responded with a 12-0 run led by Harrison Barnes who was unstoppable down the stretch. The Lakers were simply unable to get stops when they needed them most
The Lakers tried to make a run down the stretch, but a three from Matthews proved to be the dagger as the underhanded Mavs would pull out the 109-97 win.