Isaiah Thomas Has Encouraging Lakers Debut, But Defense Struggles In Loss To...

Isaiah Thomas Has Encouraging Lakers Debut, But Defense Struggles In Loss To Mavericks

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers offered little resistance against the Dallas Mavericks in the first quarter, which set the tone for the night from both teams. Luke Walton and Rick Carlisle each took an early timeout out of frustration over defensive effort, but it ultimately was to no avail.

The Lakers fell to the Mavericks, 130-123, as they were unable to keep pace in the fourth quarter. The loss snapped the Lakers’ winning streak at a season-high tying four games. L.A. has yet to win five straight this season, three times producing a stretch of four consecutive wins.

After a slow start to the game, the Lakers went on a 12-2 run and led 36-34 at the end of the first quarter. It was one in which both teams shot over 60 percent from the field.

Los Angeles and Dallas proceeded to trade baskets into the second quarter and throughout the remainder of the game, with Mavericks reaching at least 30 points in every quarter.

While the Lakers managed to improve on the defensive side of the floor during parts of the final 12 minutes, bad possessions and late turnovers ultimately did them in.

The high-scoring affair did play into the hands of Isaiah Thomas in his Lakers debut, at least early. He had 16 points on 5-for-8 shooting, including 4-of-7 from deep, in the first half. But Thomas only managed six points in the second half.

Julius Randle impressed in another visit to his hometown, flirting with a triple-double by scoring a game-high 26 points to go along with eight rebounds and seven assists. Brandon Ingram chipped in with xx points, making x-of-x attempts behind the 3-point line.

Brook Lopez also reached double-figures, scoring xx points, but only made xx of xx shots from deep. Kyle Kuzma made multiple baskets in the fourth quarter to finish with 12 points, but more impressively added a career-high 15 rebounds.

Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 22 points as part of a balanced attack that saw all five starters, plus Dwight Powell score at least 10 points. The Mavericks entered last in the league in points in the paint per game but had a 52-44 edge.

The Lakers 17 turnovers and 15-for-22 shooting (68.2 percent) from the free throw line were also factors in their loss. They did fare well from behind the arc, tying a season high with 16 makes.