Thursday night was a monumental game for the Los Angeles Lakers as Anthony Davis returned to the court after missing more than two months of action due to a calf/Achilles injury. He only played limited minutes though and the Lakers came up short against Luka Doncic and Co., falling to the Dalllas Mavericks by a score of 115-110.
Davis was unable to knock down his first three jumpers, but was active on the defensive glass and looked to push in semi-transition to start the game. After going up 14-6, Los Angeles found themselves trailing 19-16 after Dallas found their groove on the offensive end.
Montrezl Harrell looked more like himself as soon as he entered the game, scoring around the rim and grabbing a contested offensive rebound. However, the Mavericks got nearly anything they wanted offensively so the Lakers went into the second down 31-26.
After sitting most of the first quarter due to foul trouble, Doncic finally got going himself going offensively after knocking down a pull-up mid-ranger and draining a tough corner three over Davis. Foul trouble also plagued Los Angeles as the tight whistle allowed Dallas to get into the bonus early, and they capitalized on all their trips to the free-throw line.
The Lakers did not have much luck making much of a dent in the Mavericks lead as they could not string enough stops on the defensive end. L.A. could not slow down Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, and they went into the half down 62-51.
Davis wound up playing 17 minutes, scoring four points on 2-of-10 shooting to go along with four rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal. While he struggled with his shot, just being healthy and on the court was a big positive to take away from this one for Davis.
The Lakers got off to a much better start in the third, ripping off an 11-0 run before the Mavericks responded with a 10-0 run of their own to go back up 10 points. Dennis Schroder caught fire from the field, going on his own personal 10-0 run and an Alex Caruso three put the Lakers up 77-76.
The two teams then toggled with the lead as each was able to answer any time the other scored. However, the Lakers would head into the fourth trailing 94-90.
Los Angeles’s defense did not show up at the top of the final quarter as they allowed Dallas to go on a 9-2 run. The Lakers looked like they would finally get over the hump, but some questionable officiating prevented them from getting too close.
The Purple and Gold tried to make a late-game run, trimming to the deficit to as little as four points thanks to some clutch threes by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Ultimately it wasn’t enough though as the Mavericks closed it out late to earn the victory.
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