The Los Angeles Lakers took on the Dallas Mavericks on the road on Tuesday night needing a win to remain in 10th place in the Western Conference, which is where they need to be to qualify for the Play-In Tournament.
Unfortunately, the Lakers were forced to play without their two best players in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, making things difficult against Luka Doncic and the Mavericks. As a result, the Lakers were blown out, 128-110.
The Lakers got off to a slow start, as has been the case a lot lately, falling down 8-0 and forcing Frank Vogel to burn a quick timeout.
Doncic had no problem getting whatever looks he wanted as he has nine early points, while Russell Westbrook had the Lakers’ first six points with the rest of the starting lineup struggling offensively.
Vogel was forced to use yet another timeout after back-to-back threes by Doncic, giving him 15 points and his team a 23-12 lead midway through the first.
A pleasant surprise for the Lakers in recent weeks has been the play of D.J. Augustin, whose 3-point shooting has been much-needed. That was again the case in this off as he came off the bench and drained his first two shots from deep to get the deficit back to single digits.
Former Laker sharpshooter Reggie Bullock responded with a pair of threes of his own though and the Lakers ultimately trailed 43-25 through one quarter after an embarrassing defensive effort.
Another sharpshooter in Davis Bertans picked up where Bullock left off to begin the second as the Mavericks continued to expand their lead.
The Mavericks wound up shooting an impressive 12-of-23 from deep in the first half, although most of them were wide open, to take an 82-56 lead into the locker room.
Even though things were already looking bleak, Frank Vogel went with a different lineup to begin the second half, subbing in Wenyen Gabriel and Trevor Ariza for Dwight Howard and Austin Reaves.
That didn’t work though as the Lakers continued to yield open threes and the Mavericks built their lead to a game-high 34 points.
One of the lone bright spots for the Lakers was the play of Malik Monk as he caught fire in the third quarter, scoring in a variety of ways to lead his team with 28 points. Westbrook also reached the 25-point threshold at the end of the third quarter, although outside of those two, offense was hard to come by for L.A.
Meanwhile, Doncic continued his overall dominance, recording a triple-double with 34 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists in just three quarters of play and the Lakers’ deficit was 113-84 going into the fourth.
The Lakers did a solid job in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to 18 although that obviously was nowhere close to making it a game as the Mavericks cruised in blowout fashion.
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