The Lakers started off strong defensively as they forced a couple of turnovers and seemed to be the more energized team, but the Mavericks quickly settled in and found their groove on offense. They moved the ball extremely well, finding the open man along the perimeter for open three-pointers while also cutting at the right times for some easy baskets.
It was by far and away Los Angeles’ worst outing of the 2019-20 NBA season so far as they looked out of sorts on both ends. James and Anthony Davis had solid games as they combined for 52 points, but the rest of the team struggled mightily from the field.
While the loss was disappointing, James did not seem too concerned when asked what he and the rest of the roster could learn from the game.
“That we can play better,” James said.
“Obviously we know that that team has played extremely well especially on the road and we knew they wanted to get some get back after we beat them on their floor, they beat us on our floor. It’s a very good team, very well-coached and we just learn from our mistakes and learn from the some of the good things we did tonight as well.”
Luka Doncic has been playing like a Most Valuable Player candidate in recent weeks and it was on full display against the Lakers as he ran into little resistance when carving up their defense. He was nearly unstoppable, hitting stepback three-pointers, getting to the basket, and passing to his shooters when he was doubled in the paint.
Los Angeles tried to surge back in the third quarter like they have in previous games, but it was clear that the 20-point deficit they dug themselves in was too much for even them to overcome. The Lakers have made it a poor habit of going down by large amounts early in games and this time, it came back to bite them against a Mavericks team that is well-disciplined.
Things do not get any easier for the purple and gold as they are heading into a tough part of their schedule that will really test them.
They embark on a three-game road trip against formidable Western Conference teams, starting with the second-place Denver Nuggets.