The Lakers lost against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of their second round match-up because the couldn't close.
It's as simple as that.
Whether it's Kobe Bryant's missed three in the dying seconds, the careless fouls that led to Dirk Nowitzki shooting freebies, or the costly turnovers that let the door open for the Mavs in the final minute. These make a good study for closing games in a weak manner.
As a fan, I was expecting the Lakers to learn from their mistakes against the New Orleans Hornets in the previous series. The team did play well in the first thirty minutes of the game and were on their way to a comfy home win but the lead crumbled. By the time the fourth quarter started, momentum had shifted to the Mavs.
In the final quarter, the Lakers only managed 16 points on seven field goals. Seven! This output is the worst fourth quarter the Lakers have had in the 2011 NBA playoffs. Someone kick me in the shin right now.
But this is still a seven-game series. The Lakers have more opportunities to give Andrew Bynum more involvement in the offense, put Ron Artest back into the flow, and Pau Gasol to find his spine back.
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