The Los Angeles Lakers were hoping to get back in the win column but instead suffered another disappointing loss to the Dallas Mavericks, 109-104.
For matchup purposes, the Lakers started a small ball lineup and it paid off early as they had more room to operate their half-court offense. The spacing helped open driving lanes for LeBron James and Malik Monk, who helped give Los Angeles an early 18-16 lead.
Luka Doncic started to get rolling, however, attacking the paint and capping off his own personal run with a putback dunk over Dwight Howard. Without James on the floor, the Laker offense failed to hit a field goal in the last two minutes of the quarter and thus they trailed 30-25 at the end of the first.
It was a rough start for the Laker defense to begin the second as they gave up two consecutive and-ones and open threes to the Mavericks, quickly falling behind by 12. Talen Horton-Tucker was able to score a couple of times but unfortunately went back to the locker room after taking a fall on a drive and injuring his ankle, although he eventually was about to return.
Things escalated quickly as the Lakers failed to show much effort on either end of the floor and saw the deficit rise to as many as 21. Los Angeles was able to find some momentum to close the period but still went into halftime down 71-56.
L.A. looked like a different team at the top of the third, stringing together multiple tops and going on an 8-0 run to get back into single digits. Stanley Johnson was able to hit a pair of threes and James followed with one of his own to narrow the score to 78-72.
James managed to tie the game after knocking down his third consecutive triple, with all of them from well behind the line. Defensively they forced Dallas into tougher looks and they managed to take a 92-90 lead into the fourth.
James went right back to work in the final quarter, doing everything on the floor to ensure the Lakers stayed ahead. However, Doncic re-stabilized the situation for the Mavericks and they wound up retaking the lead.
Russell Westbrook was a burst of energy, rousing the crowd with a dunk off a nice feed from James though Doncic calmly responded with a floater in the lane. Despite the valiant effort, the Lakers did not have another run in them and their comeback would fall short.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!