The Mavs defeated the LA Lakers 109-104 in their second straight game at Crypto.com Arena on Tuesday.
Luka Doncic scored a team-high 25 points despite missing 12 field goal (FG) tries, including all five from downtown. Doncic hit two field goals, one free throw, and assisted Dwight Powell on an alley-oop in the final five minutes of the game. The advantage from one (101-104) to five (109-104) points.
“We stuck together and simply went through the motions of the game,” Doncic added. “My approach is to finish the game with the best shot possible, and that’s exactly what we did down the stretch.”
For the Mavericks, Jalen Brunson, Dorian Fenny-Smith, and Spencer Dinwiddie combined to go 9-for-18 from beyond the arc. Face with such an offensive danger from the outside. The Lakers couldn’t afford to close in around the rim. As a result, they gave up 60 points in the paint, led by Doncic’s 16 points.
In the second quarter, the Mavericks built a 21-point lead, but in the third quarter, they destroyed it by shooting 1-for-9 on triples and 1-for-12 on field goals. Furthermore, their scoring drought occurred as the LA Lakers erupted into a frenzy, draining seven of their 12 3-point tries.
As a result, before the fourth quarter, the purple and gold were back in top (87-85).
“We told them before halftime, ‘They’re coming. LeBron’s coming,'” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “LeBron put on a show in the third quarter, but we kept our cool. Which is one of the things we’ve improved on, and in the fourth quarter, we went back to what we did against Golden State, holding them to 17 points, which is very impressive.”
In the third quarter, James hit three triples, each from further away than the preceding one. However, at 37 years old, he no longer has the strength to dominate the floor for all four quarters. In the fourth quarter, his jumpers began to fall short, and he committed two turnovers at a time when every shot was crucial.
Despite shooting a combined 6-for-12 from outside the arc, Malik Monk and Carmelo Anthony were still James’ finest teammates. With three triples on Tuesday night, Stanley Johnson was the most surprising player for the purple and gold. Despite this, Russell Westbrook, the team’s other franchise player. He had his worst shooting season to date, missing 12 of his 17 shots. He had a strong showing in terms of rebounding (six), assists (eight with no turnovers), and even defense (two steals and one block), but he struggled to hit open shots.
After the game, James noted, “We still have games to play.” “I’ve got a chance till you stomp me out, chop off my head, bury me 12 feet under, so that’s my confidence. We have to come here and win ballgames and play better, but as long as we have ballgames to play, we’ve got a chance.”
LeBron scored 26 points and 12 rebounds for the LA Lakers. He has lost 10 of their past 13 games and 15 of their last 21. Carmelo Anthony got 20 points for the Lakers.
Dallas was within one point after Brunson sank a three-pointer and Doncic added a jumper. It is 5:08 remaining, James threw the ball over on a terrible pass, resulting in Powell’s dunk, giving the Mavericks a 101-100 lead. With 3:53 remaining, Doncic and Powell added baskets to extend the advantage to five.
At remaining 3:25 , Westbrook’s thunderous slam stopped the Dallas run, but it was the Lakers’ only point in more than seven minutes until James scored on a meaningless dunk with 13.3 seconds remaining.
Los Angeles trailed 71-56 at halftime, but in the third quarter. They looked like a completely different squad, outscoring the Mavericks 31-14 to take a two-point lead. With four minutes remaining in the first half. The Mavericks outscored the Lakers 37-13 to transform a three-point first-quarter deficit into a 59-38 lead.
Dallas won four of five games on the road, but only after surviving a fairly ineffective second half. During a first-half highlighted by Doncic’s explosive one-handed putback dunk over Dwight Howard late in the first quarter. The Mavs moved out to a huge lead.
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