The Los Angeles Lakers got their final week of the season started on Sunday night as they hosted the Dallas Mavericks. With their spot in the lottery set, the Lakers could do nothing to improve or worsen their draft position.
The Mavericks, meanwhile, clinched the seventh spot in the West, but were still trying to round themselves into playoff form, led by veterans Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis. Rookie Jordan Clarkson looked to continue his excellent play and Ryan Kelly was coming off a season high in points in the Lakers win over Minnesota Friday night.
Dallas came in at 48-31, having won their previous two games, while the Lakers were 21-58 and coming off one of their best team performances of the year. The Mavericks won the previous three meetings between the two teams.
Jabari Brown hit a three on the first possession to quickly put the Lakers up 3-0. Johnson hit a corner three as well, but a Rondo layup made it 6-4 Lakers early on. Clarkson got a dunk, but Rondo responded with a jumper. A tip-in from Tyson Chandler followed by a Dirk Nowitzki three put Dallas up 13-9. Dirk would hit a fadeaway, and Tarik Black followed with a hook shot to keep the Lakers within four at 17-13. Chandler got a layup on the pick-and-roll and J.J. Barea got a transition layup as the Mavs pulled ahead by eight. Clarkson found Johnson for his second three of the game and a pair of free throws from Dwight Buycks brought the Lakers back within four at 24-20. The Lakers got lost in transition, allowing a three from Charlie Villanueva, but Ed Davis got a layup on a putback to keep the Lakers within five. Johnson continued his strong start with a mid-range jumper. A three-point play from Davis cut the Lakers deficit to two, but consecutive baskets from Raymond Felton pushed the lead back to six. The first quarter ended with the Lakers trailing 33-27.
The Lakers got a stop and Buycks hit a jumper to get the Lakers on the board, but was then beaten by Barea as the Mavs maintained a six-point lead. The teams traded baskets before Brown made an impressive left handed floater to make it a four-point game. Al-farouq Aminu came back with a three-point play that made it 40-33 Dallas. The Mavericks continued to push ahead as free throws from Bernard James and a Felton layup in transition put them up double-digits, 47-35. The Lakers defense was pretty bad, allowing the Mavs to attack the paint at will and keep their lead at 12 midway through the second. Clarkson hit a mid-range jumper, but Richard Jefferson got an easy dunk to keep the Mavs up big. Brown hit three free throws and Clarkson followed up with a short jumper as the Lakers crept back in, cutting the deficit down to six. Johnson got a short jumper to fall to bring the Lakers within four with three minutes left in the half. Another three from Johnson made it a one possession game, but free throws from Rondo pushed the Dallas lead right back to five. Rondo shockingly hit a three, but Johnson made his fourth three of the half to keep the Lakers within range. A pair of free throws from Jefferson gave Dallas a five-point lead at half, 62-57.
Wesley Johnson suffered an ankle injury at the end of the first half that would keep him out for the rest of the game. Dallas got off to a good start with six straight points go back ahead by double-digits. Clarkson hit Black for the Lakers’ first basket of the quarter. The Lakers cut the lead down to seven before a Jefferson three made it 10 again. Both teams allowed numerous wide-open dunks as the defense was poor on both ends. Dallas took back control of the game midway through the third as a Villanueva layup pushed the lead to 14, their biggest of the night. The Lakers tried to chip away at the lead and Clarkson hit a three to cut the lead to 11. Dallas committed a clear path foul and Brown made both free throws. He followed that up with a tough layup to cut the deficit to seven, but Dirk got open for a jumper to put the lead back to nine. Brown hit a three to bring the Lakers within six and a Sacre free throw cut it to five before Barea got in the lane for a layup to put Dallas up seven to end the quarter, 89-82.
Buycks started the quarter with a layup for the Lakers, but Villanueva hit a three to put Dallas right back up eight. Kelly was fouled on a three and hit all the foul shots, but Felton hit a couple baskets to keep Dallas comfortably ahead by nine. Dallas pushed the lead back to 11 and Villanueva got open for a jumper to make it a 13 point lead. The Mavs started to put it away in the fourth as Villanueva hit another three and Chandler got open for an easy dunk as they pulled ahead by 16 midway through the fourth. A three from Jefferson pushed the Dallas lead to 18 before Clarkson hit consecutive threes to bring the Lakers back within 12 with four minutes left. Dirk hit four straight free throws to effectively put the game away, giving the Mavs a 15 point lead with under three minutes left. Dallas pushed the lead back up to 18 and end up beating the Lakers by 14, 120-106.
Tarik Black After Career-High Night