The Los Angeles Lakers (0-2) will look to bounce back against the Dallas Mavericks (1-1) as they return to the Staples Center after losing big in Sacramento on Friday. In a game where they gave up 80 points in the paint, the Lakers offense seemed a bit out of sorts as they continued to jack up three’s like they were going out of style. The Lakers still seem to be focused on figuring out their roles on offense, leaving their defense to suffer on the back-burner
Head Coach Byron Scott made it clear he was unhappy with the lack of effort the Lakers seemed to leave on the court in their last outing. Hopefully a return back home to Los Angeles can revamp this young squad as they try to secure their first victory of the season.
The Lakers offense got off to a slow start, while the Wesley Matthews got it going early hitting back-to-back three’s to put the Mavs up 7-0. Dirk Nowitzki then came out of a Lakers’ timeout to hit consecutive three’s of his own as the Mavs went up by 15. The Lakers finally got their first bucket of the game with a little under eight minutes left in the first quarter thanks to a trio of free-throws by Kobe Bryant. Julius Randle flashed his ability to attack the rim with an acrobatic reverse lay-up to cut the Mavs’ lead 19-11 with five minutes left in the quarter. The Mavericks took some notes from the Kings by trying to feed it inside to ZaZa Pachulia as he finished strong to increase their lead 24-13. Nick Young entered the game for Kobe and continued to shoot well as he nailed a three to bring the lead back down to 10. The Lakers looked re-energized as Jordan Clarkson led a fast-break that ended with a Brandon Bass finish and-one. Despite the Lakers turning the ball over seven times, they found themselves down 32-21 at the end of the first.
Nowitzki continued to make his presence felt with a dunk to start the second quarter, meanwhile Lou Williams finally got on the board with a three of his own as Lakers found themselves down by 13. Nick Young continued his excellent shooting, hitting his second shot from downtown with the score now 39-29, but the Mavs answered back with yet another three by Wes Matthews, having hit seven of their ten three-pointers so far up to this point. D’Angelo Russell came back into the game trying to find some momentum as he failed to convert his fourth shot attempt of the game with the Laker deficit now 15. Kobe finally ended the three minute scoring drought with a pair of free-throws. Deron Williams added yet another three to the Dallas stat line to put them up 47-33. Julius Randle was the lone spark for the Laker offense in the first half, taking Dirk to the hole before drawing a foul and finishing the three-point play. The Lakers scoring woes finally came to an end with a straightaway three by Clarkson followed by a fast break finish by Randle to cut the Dallas lead to nine with less than a minute left in the half. The purple and gold ended the half with an exclamation point on a Roy Hibbert put-back as time ran out with the Lakers down 54-45.
The Lakers came out fired up as Kobe got his first bucket of the game to start the second half on a put-back layup, while Randle stepped it up on defense by chasing down Pachulia to block his shot. Kobe finally ended his three-point shooting woes with a long ball coming on a dish from Randle as Dallas continued to lead 62-52 midway through the third quarter. Raymond Felton hit a soft jumper to coming out of the timeout to put the Mavs up by ten. Russell finally got his hot hand going with a pair threes to bring the Lakers within eight with a little under four minutes left in the quarter. However, just when the Lakers seem to get a run going, Dallas answers with a score, this time on a jumper from Devin Harris. On top of that, Dirk continued to show why he’s perhaps the best shooting big man in the history of the game, as he finished the quarter scoring six of the Mavs’ last eight to give Dallas an 81-64 lead.
The Lakers got the first points of the quarter with a Bass free throw and Lou Williams layup, but Barea answered with a three-point play to maintain the Mavs’ 17-point lead. Williams hit a three, but the Lakers continued to fail on the defensive end as Dallas pushed ahead by 18, the biggest lead of the night. A quick 6-1 run led by Huertas brought the Lakers to within 13, but a Barea three quickly ended that spurt. Randle would hit Bass in transition for a dunk and Williams followed with a three as the Lakers closed within 10 midway through the quarter. Dirk checked in and immediately hit another jumper. Pachulia added a pair of free throws to give Dallas a cushion. The Lakers continued to fight down the stretch however as a Kobe three and a pair of Randle free throws cut the Mavs lead to seven with three minutes remaining. A pair of free throws from Williams made it a two possession game at 97-91, but a huge basket from Felton put Dallas up eight with under two minutes left. The Lakers were unable to score on their next possession and Barea hit a jumper to ice the game as Dallas went back up 10. The rest was academic as the Lakers ultimately fell 103-93.