The Lakers gave fans a tantalizing taste of what could possibly be last week, going 2-2 and giving them an emotional-fueled performance at home on opening night. It may not get better than that for L.A. In Dallas on Tuesday night, the Mavericks handed the Lakers their second blowout road loss of the season, leading by as many as 30 before finishing with a 123-104 victory.
The Lakers never put up much of a fight, giving up 35 first quarter points, 67 first half points, and never getting the lead smaller than 15 in the second half. They never seemed organized, never gained a rhythm offensively or defensively, and never were competitive on the night. Each time they put together a mini-run to cut the lead down, the Mavs answered, typically with an emphatic run of their own.
Nick Young led the Lakers in scoring off the bench, finishing with 21 points on 8 of 12 shooting. The starters, however, combined for just 32 points with Pau Gasol the only one in double figures with 10 points. Jodie Meeks and Jordan Farmar each added 11 while Chris Kaman had 10, all apart of a bench unit that poured in 72 points.
The Lakers came out of the gate lethargic, never leading in the game. An 11-4 run to close the first quarter gave the Mavericks a 13 points lead heading into the second frame. They never slowed down, pushing the lead to 50-35 after a Jose Calderon three pointer midway through the 2nd quarter. Another run to close out the quarter, this one an 8-0 run, gave the Mavs a 19-point lead at halftime. The Mavs lead climaxed at 30 points after another Calderon 3-pointer late in the 3rd. Calderon finished with 4 three pointers, tied for a team-high. Dallas was paced by Monta Ellis, however, who finished with 30 points on 11 of 14 shooting as well as adding 9 assists.
The Lakers tried to pull themselves back into the game, cutting the lead into the 15 with their first shot of the fourth quarter. The Mavericks quickly answered, aided by Jae Crowder’s back-to-back three pointers, which hammered the proverbial nail in the coffin. Some garbage time baskets made the final score a little more respectable, but still paints an accurate picture of the outcome.
Things don’t get any easier for the purple and gold, who travel to Houston on Thursday for a match-up with the Rockets, and more notably Dwight Howard. Tip-off is set for 9:30 Eastern, 6:30 Pacific.