The Lakers certainly did enough offensively to win on Wednesday, unfortunately they played one of their worst defensive games of the season, losing to the the Dallas Mavericks 109-100 at the American Airlines Center.
It’s not often a team shoots 54.3% from the floor in this day and age in the NBA and loses. But when the other team shoots 55.0%, then it makes sense. And that’s what happened against Dallas, as a good offensive game was wasted by the Lakers due to their inability to stop the Mavericks at all in the second half.
As has been the case in recent games, the Lakers led early, and led by double-figures at certain points as well. But they just can’t seem to play consistent defense for 48 minutes, allowing teams back into games, and quickly. Dallas erased an 11-point first half deficit, and a 9-point third quarter deficit, storming back for a relatively easy win.
In fact at one point in the in the fourth quarter, the Mavericks led 97-81, before the Lakers went on a 10-2 run, highlighted by a 4-point and a 3-point play by Lamar Odom. But they could get no closer, as the Mavs just had too big of a cushion and the Lakers were just unable to get stops at the defensive end. The Mavericks outscored the Lakers 27-8 to finish the third quarter, which was the difference in the game.
Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 23 points on 11-16 from the floor, though he had just five rebounds. Kobe Bryant had 21 points and 10 assists, and Lamar Odom continues to play great basketball, scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 boards off the bench. He was the one real bright spot in the loss.
The biggest issue for the Lakers was allowing a Dallas team that had lost six in a row and was really struggling offensively, to hit 12-26 (46.2%) from the three-point line. And many of those shots were completely uncontested, as the Lakers were out of position on defense on so many occasions, it was hard to keep count. Both teams had 35 rebounds.
Jason Kidd, who went scoreless against Detroit in Dallas’ last game, scored a season-high 21 points on 5-8 from beyond the arc, to go along with 10 assists. Shawn Marion got to the basket at will, looking like the high-flying act he was in his younger days in Phoenix, as he scored 22 points off the bench.
Jason Terry, who was one for his last 18 from the three-point line hit 4-6 against the Lakers, for 22 points off the bench as well. Dirk Nowitski, coming back from a sprained knee, struggled with just 14 points on 5-15 shooting, but it hardly mattered on this night, as Dallas snapped their losing streak.
The Lakers will try to move on from that forgettable second half in Dallas to face Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets on Friday at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets beat the Lakers 118-112 back on November 11th, a game Los Angeles led by 10 in the fourth quarter in Denver, before collapsing down the stretch as Anthony went for 32 points.