After sitting out Tuesday and Thursday, Kobe Bryant rested once again Friday night as the remaining Los Angeles Lakers took on the Dallas Mavericks. The last time the two teams met, the Lakers had trouble stopping the potent Maverick offense and allowed them to score 140 points in the blowout loss.
Since then, the Mavericks traded for Rajon Rondo from the Boston Celtics and entered Friday’s game still adjusted to their new point guard. In the three games with Rondo in the lineup, the Mavericks went 1-2 but looked to get their second win against the Lakers.
Ronnie Price, Wayne Ellington, Wesley Johnson, Ed Davis, and Jordan Hill started the game for the Lakers while the Mavericks went with Rondo, Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki, and Tyson Chandler.
Ellington missed on a jumper to open up the game while Rondo found Chandler on a lob on the first Maverick possession. The Lakers went on to miss their first four field goals while the Mavericks made their opening four to jump out to an early 10-0 lead. Hill finally put the Lakers on the board with a 15 foot jumper three minutes into the quarter. Ellington then scored a quick five points bringing the Lakers with seven. With the Mavericks cooling off from their hot start, the Lakers went on a quick 11-3 run before Ellis connected on a jumper. Davis continued to show his hustle on by grabbing offensive rebounds, drawing fouls, and blocking a shot on the defensive end. A nice feed from Jeremy Lin to Carlos Boozer cut the Maverick lead to four, but Richard Jefferson scored on a three point shot in the final minute. The quarter ended with the Lakers down 26-19.
The first Laker basket in the second came off from Boozer who scored on a jumper. After allowing the Mavericks to score on two straight possessions, the Lakers were able to get stops on the next three. Nick Young started the game cold including missing on two straight shots early in the quarter but found Boozer for a basket and a foul. Young got himself a steal and promptly drained a three which was followed by a Lin jumper to tie the game at 30. Rondo ended the Laker run with two quick layups and put the Mavericks back on top. Some sloppy play by the Lakers led to two transition layups and brought the score to 38-32. The turnovers continued for the Lakers as the Mavericks took advantage and brought their to nine before Davis hit a pair of free throws. In the final minute of the half, Hill finished with a dunk as the the quarter came to close with the Lakers only down six despite only shooting 33 percent from the field. The Mavericks entered the break with a 48-42 lead.
Nowitzki scored on the first Maverick possession which moved him passed Elvin Hayes for eighth place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. As for the Lakers, they started off cold by missing their first four field goal attempts and committing four more turnovers. The deficit grew to 15 before Price ended the drought and bring the score to 58-45. The ensuing Laker possession resulted in three offensive rebounds that ultimately saw Hill finishing with a layup. The Mavericks exploited the Laker defense getting baskets easily in the paint to maintain their double-digit lead. Robert Sacre scored on a jumper to come within nine which was quickly answered by Nowitzki. A free throw from Johnson brought the Lakers within eight, but Rondo scored in the quarter’s closing seconds to end the frame with the Mavericks up 72-62.
Jordan Clarkson scored the first Laker points of the quarter by hitting a 16-footer as the Mavericks began by missing their first five shots. The Lakers couldn’t capitalize missing jumpers of their own. Two free throw trips by Nowitzki brought the Maverick lead to 12 before Young drained two straight three pointers. Charlie Villanueva provided a spark for the Mavericks by scoring ten points to help keep the Lakers at bay. A Hill jumper got the Lakers back within seven, but the Lakers failed to get defensive stops as Rondo and Chandler baskets put the Maverick lead in double digits. The Mavericks continued to carve the Laker defense as they raced to a 95-79 lead. Johnson gave the Lakers another chance by connecting on a three pointer, but the Lakers allowed the Mavericks to score at will. A late run came a little too late as the team ultimately fell by a score of 102-98.
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