The Los Angeles Lakers (29-18) were able to shake off an embarrassing loss to the Houston Rockets the night before and defeat the Dallas Mavericks (27-21) on the road last night for a 109-93 victory.
Behind strong performances from Kobe Bryant (30 points, five rebounds, four assists), Pau Gasol (27 points, nine rebounds), and Ramon Sessions (17 points, nine assists, five rebounds), the Mavericks were unable to overcome the tenacious defense and offensive firepower of the Lakers despite solid performances from the Mavs’ longest tenured members. Dirk Nowitzki (26 points, 10 rebounds, four assists) and Jason Terry (23 points) each played well, but were no match for the Lakers last night.
Although the Lakers trailed 29-27 after the first quarter, Bryant and Gasol had gotten off to solid starts. Kobe had 10 points and Pau had eight, while Ramon Sessions came off the bench to add five points and four assists in under six minutes of play.
With Ramon Sessions leading the bench into the second quarter, the Lakers reserves played well. Add in Kobe Bryant and some solid defense, and the Lakers outscored the Mavericks in the third quarter, 30-15, for a comfortable 57-44 point lead.
Despite 11 points by Bryant in the third, the Lakers were not able to sustain the 13 point lead they created in the first half, but still led by eight, 80-72.
Unlike too many times in the past to want to recall, the Lakers managed to maintain their lead in the fourth quarter and even add to it. Pau Gasol and Ramon Sessions played exceptionally well, and the Lakers cruised to a 109-93 victory.
Bryant (11-18), Gasol (13-16), and Sessions (7-8, 3-4 from three) all were extremely efficient last night. Bryant, as stated above, finished with 30 points, five boards, and four assists; Gasol had 27 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists; and Sessions tallied 17 points, nine assists, and five rebounds in a balanced effort for the Lakers. Matt Barnes dropped in 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds off the bench while Andrew Bynum had nine points (on 4-5 shooting), seven rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. Metta World Peace (four rebounds, three assists) and Troy Murphy each scored four points; World Peace had a solid defensive game, however, as did many of the Lakers. Steve Blake had just three points and two assists in 17 minutes of play. Darius Morris and newly acquired Jordan Hill each scored two points in garbage time.
As for the Mavericks, no players besides Nowitzki and Terry had big games. Vince Carter scored nine points, Ian Mahinmi had eight points and seven rebounds, and Brandan Wright scored seven points and grabbed four rebounds. Jason Kidd and Rodrigue Beaubois (five assists, three rebounds) scored six points apiece. Former Laker Lamar Odom scored just one point, grabbed one rebound, dished out one assist, and stole the ball once in 24 minutes of play.
Now, let’s break down the victory.
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