The Los Angeles Lakers were unable to get back on track and dropped their second consecutive game to the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night, 108-93.
Ben McLemore drew the start in place of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who missed the game with an ankle sprain, and he immediately knocked down a 3-pointer, although the Mavericks built up an early 8-3 lead. Defensively, Los Angeles had trouble containing Luka Doncic, who was able to execute the Dallas offense, allowing them to remain in control.
McLemore stayed hot from the field, draining three more threes to help the Lakers take their first lead of the night while Marc Gasol made a surprising appearance as the first big off the bench. Los Angeles would end the quarter shooting 6-of-11 from distance, but went into the second with a slim 26-23 lead.
The Lakers managed to keep a slight advantage over the Mavericks as they looked to attack the basket, highlighted by a Talen Horton-Tucker pass to a cutting Wesley Matthews. Both teams then struggled to score the basketball, but L.A. gave itself some extra cushion after a Markieff Morris dunk off a turnover.
The Purple and Gold quickly built up a double-digit lead as their defense was able to force more Dallas mistakes which ignited their transition attack. L.A.’s plan of trapping Doncic to get the ball out of his hands worked to perfection, and the size of both Anthony Davis and Andre Drummond proved to be suffocating.
The Mavericks were able to knock down consecutive threes near the end of the quarter, but the Lakers went into the half ahead 58-46.
L.A. came out of the second half gates solid on both ends of the floor before Dallas’ offense found its rhythm moving the ball side to side. Anthony Davis looked like he hurt his left calf as he grabbed at it after a rebound, but remained in the game.
The Lakers offered little resistance to the Mavericks as the latter made a 15-6 run to get back within single digits. Tim Hardaway Jr. nailed a three on the final possession of the third and the two teams went into the fourth tied 79-79.
Scoring was scarce as both teams did not score for the first three minutes until Horton-Tucker knifed his way into the lane for a dunk. However, Dallas retook the lead for the first time since the first midway through the quarter as Los Angeles experienced another dry spell.
The Laker defense had no answer for the Maverick pick and roll, particularly containing Dwight Powell, who saw little resistance rolling to the rim for lobs and dunks. Things fell apart on both ends for L.A. down the stretch and they would leave Dallas without a win.
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