Lakers Defense Makes Statement Against Luka Doncic, Mavericks To Close 2010s
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Los Angeles Lakers came away with a 108-95 win against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.

The Lakers got out to a quick start as James found Davis and JaVale McGee for easy looks in the paint while the Mavericks came out cold, missing 10 of their first 12 field goal attempts. Dallas eventually tightened up on defense and forced Los Angeles into tough looks they could not convert.

Both teams struggled offensively to close the quarter as the Lakers and Mavericks were unable to hit open looks along the perimeter. Despite that, a Davis offensive rebound and dunk helped put Los Angeles up 25-19 going into the second quarter.

The Lakers were able to extend their lead as they continued to score in the paint, particularly Dwight Howard who was able to get free for a few dunks. Dallas was able to cut into the lead after a pair of triples, but a Davis runner followed up by a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope three kept Los Angeles well ahead.

The Lakers ratcheted up their defensive intensity as they were able to turn the Mavericks over several times and get out into transition. Luka Doncic took a hard fall and had to exit the game after shooting two free throws, but Los Angeles kept their foot on the gas and went into the half up 54-43.

Although the Mavericks shot the ball well to begin the third, the Lakers were able to answer with buckets in the restricted area and maintain their double-digit lead. Los Angeles did an excellent job of moving the ball with James putting on a passing clinic by finding several of his teammates for easy scoring opportunities.

JJ Barea helped spark Dallas offense by getting into the lane for layups and hitting a pair of threes, but Los Angeles continued to play them tough defensively. As a result, they went into the final period up 84-69.

The Lakers and Mavericks traded baskets to start the fourth, allowing Los Angeles to keep their lead. Caldwell-Pope continued his hot shooting, nailing a pair of three-pointers to keep Dallas from making a serious run.