Usually when a team goes on the road and loses in an embarrassing fashion, that team tends to come out with more fire and energy in their next game, especially when they are in front of their home crowd.
That was unfortunately not the case for the Los Angeles Lakers who, after losing by 18 to the Sacramento Kings on Friday, came out extremely lackadaisical against the Dallas Mavericks Sunday evening.
Before any of the players could break a sweat, the Lakers were already down 15-0 to start the game and didn’t get their first field goal until the 7:11 mark of the first period on a Julius Randle dunk. To add to the misery, they also had seven first quarter miscues.
The Mavericks, who were without a few of their key players against the Los Angeles Clippers in their last game, saw the return of Chandler Parsons, Wesley Matthews, and Deron Williams. However, after playing the first half, Parsons did not return in the second half.
Matthews was the catalyst early on, knocking down two triples to put the Mavs ahead 7-0. He finished the contest with 10 points on 3 of 8 shooting from long range in 26 minutes. Williams was the orchestrator for Dallas, as the veteran point guard notched 11 points, eight assists, and five rebounds in his 31 minutes of play.
But the night belonged to Dirk Nowitzki, as the big German concluded with 25 points and nine rebounds on an efficient 10 of 13 shooting. He started the game 5 of 5 before missing his first shot early in the third quarter.
Nowitzki was essentially getting everything he wanted on the offense end, showing the nice touch that we have witnessed over the last 17 years.
To match Nowitzki’s performance, Randle led the charge for the Lakers, playing a sensational game. In just the first quarter, Randle had eight points and eight rebounds and already secured a double-double by halftime.
The 20-year old ended with a stat line of 22 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, and four steals, playing a well-rounded game. Interestingly enough, Randle was the only Lakers starter to have a field goal until the one-minute mark of the second quarter when Jordan Clarkson nailed a three.
Despite their poor start, the Lakers only trailed by nine at halftime, 54-45.
However, the Mavericks held control of the entire game, as they made short runs every time the Lakers cut their lead down to eight. Nonetheless, on the tail end of the fourth quarter, the Lakers made one final push, as they narrowed the gap to six but that was the closest they would get, and their run was obviously far too late.
The Mavericks captured the win, 103-93, leading wire to wire and improving their record to 2-1.
Kobe Bryant once again had a poor shooting night, going 3 of 15 from the field for 15 points and five rebounds. Off the bench, Lou Williams added 13 points and Brandon Bass chipped in 10 points and five rebounds.
“I suck right now,” Bryant said after the contest. “I’m the 200th best player in the league right now. I frickin’ suck. I’m just playing like s**t right now. I’m getting the shots I want. I’m just not making them.”
Zaza Pachulia had a strong night for the Mavs, scoring 16 points and snagging 12 rebounds. Off Dallas’ bench, Raymond Felton put in 11 points, while J.J. Barea pushed in 10 points and seven assists.
The ball movement for the Lakers was subpar once again, as they only had 18 team assists, and Randle was their high assist man with four. On the other hand, the Mavericks had 28 dimers on 40 baskets. Astonishingly, after allowing 80 paint points to the Kings, the Lakers held the Mavericks to only 40 paint points which is a respectable amount. And after their sloppy start, they ultimately took better care of the ball, finishing with 12 turnovers.
However, the end result was the same, as the Lakers drop to 0-3 to begin the season and will face the Denver Nuggets in their next contest on Tuesday, November 3. The Mavericks, meanwhile, will battle the undefeated Toronto Raptors in their next affair which is on Tuesday as well.