Playing on Christmas Day a 22nd consecutive season and 47th time overall, the Los Angeles Lakers added to their all-time win total on the marquee holiday with a 138-115 blowout of the Dallas Mavericks.
LeBron James showed no ill effects from his sprained left ankle, blowing by Luka Doncic for a layup and a trip to the free throw line. Anthony Davis also got off to a good start, converting on a couple of transition buckets and a floater in the lane to give the Lakers an 18-12 lead.
Doncic and the Mavericks began to find their rhythm on offense midway through the period, eventually tying up the score at 23. However, Los Angeles answered with a quick spurt which gave them a 33-30 advantage after the first.
The Laker bench played well to begin the second quarter, with Alex Caruso and Markieff Morris making plays on both ends. Defensively, Los Angeles was able to force a few turnovers and a midrange jumper from Montrezl Harrell gave them their first double-digit lead of the night.
A Davis 3-pointer put the Lakers up 55-42, but live-ball turnovers allowed the Mavericks to go on a quick 8-0 run to bring them back within five. Despite this, James was able to come in and resettle the team and a Kyle Kuzma three at the buzzer put them up 69-57 at halftime.
The Lakers continued to gouge the Mavericks in the painted area, scoring two quick layups that prompted a timeout from head coach Rick Carlisle. A James three gave Los Angeles a 19 point lead, but more importantly put him second in all-time Christmas Day scoring behind the late Kobe Bryant.
Dennis Schroder got going from the outside, nailing a trio of free throw attempts and a top of the arc three to keep the Lakers up 15. Meanwhile, Harrell found space to score around the basket and the purple and gold walked into the fourth up 99-85.
Even with Doncic on the bench, Dallas was able to cut the Los Angeles lead to 10 after a 10-2 spurt. After a couple of timeouts from head coach Frank Vogel, the Lakers were able to settle down and retake control after a few made baskets.
Los Angeles found more breathing room after Harrell knocked down back-to-back jumpers, while Davis hit a corner 3 to put them back up 17. L.A. largely cruised from there to earn their first win of the season.
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