After a disappointing road trip that saw them lose a pair of close games, the Los Angeles Lakers returned home and nearly squandered what was once a 19-point lead over the Dallas Mavericks. But ultimately, they prevailed on Halloween.
The Lakers opened the game on an 8-0 run and also ripped off a 15-0 stretch in the first quarter. While LeBron James dished five assists within the first 12 minutes, Kyle Kuzma helped shoulder the offensive load by scoring 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting.
Rajon Rondo capped off the 38-point quarter with a deep 3-pointer that left just one-tenth of a second on the clock. The Lakers went 6-for-9 behind the arc in the first quarter and made 10 of their 17 attempts on the night (59 percent).
They were led in that department by Lonzo Ball, who connected on all three of his attempts. James was the only other Laker to make more than one 3-pointer, with his coming back-to-back in the third quarter to answer a Mavericks’ run.
Although the Lakers appeared to be in control in the fourth quarter, Dallas made anther charge. One that saw them tie the game with 7.2 seconds when Luka Doncic made a running floater over Josh Hart.
Wesley Matthews, who carried the Mavericks early with his hot shooting from deep, inexplicably fouled James as he crossed halfcourt. Matthews nearly got away with his mistake, as James missed the first free throw before making the second to give the Lakers a decided lead.
J.J. Barea got a decent look at the rim but his heave of a game-winner missed left.
While there were some frustrating points in the game, that the Lakers managed to win a nail-biter was a step forward for the team. Meanwhile, James (27.8 points per game), Kuzma (19.3), Brandon Ingram (17.3), JaVale McGee (15.5), Josh Hart (11.9), Rajon Rondo (11.2), Lance Stephenson (10.8) and Ball (10.1) are all scoring in double-figures.