Video Credit: NBA

New FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Mavericks- Game 61

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (27-34) | Dallas Mavericks (37-25)

 

After coming back from a 21-point deficit, the Lakers still couldn’t pull out a win in the 109-104 loss to the Mavericks.

 

Lakers vs Mavericks
Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Where the Lakers are in the standings today would require them to win two play-in games to enter the actual playoffs. All pressure was on them last night with Dallas posting wins at a great rate.

Stanley Johnson hit a three right out of the gate for the Lakers, as they started on a 7-4 run. The Mavericks put in work inside, outscoring Los Angeles 18-2 in the paint during the first. However, the game was close starting out thanks to outside offense from the Lakers. They would get contested threes from Malik Monk and Carmelo Anthony towards the end of the quarter, giving them a slight lead.

Luka Doncic leads the NBA in points per game in the first quarter with 9.1. He continued that success by leading an 8-0 run for Dallas right before the second. Doncic got up for a dunk over Dwight Howard during the run and finished the quarter with 12 points. After Ja Morant’s poster Monday, some can argue there was some inspiration behind it. The Laker defense knew exactly who they had to focus on going forward, with a small deficit of 5 heading into the second.

That deficit got worse in the second quarter, but it was Dorian Finey-Smith and Jalen Brunson who began to wake up the offense for Dallas. A three by Kent Bazemore and buckets from Talen-Horton Tucker and Anthony had the Lakers still within single digits in the first few minutes. Then, Jalen Brunson led a 22-9 run for Dallas, with Doncic only scoring once during the run. The Mavericks’ depth began to show at the end of the first half.

Finney-Smith scored 11 points on the board with three from behind the arc in the final three minutes of the half. The Lakers’ defense had no response for his pull-ups from outside, getting themselves into another deep deficit in front of the home crowd. They were down 15 points, shooting below 50 percent from the field at the break. Lebron James only had 11 by halftime, but Westbrook’s 2-10 first-half shooting was the leading factor for their shooting percentage.

The Lakers have been exhausted, playing comeback in practically every game of late. Their only chance to climb back in was to introduce some determination in the second half.

 

The Lakers struggled to get anything going at the break, but they tried to come back in the second half despite being down 71-56.

 

Lakers vs Mavericks
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

If a change of pace had a definition, it would be last night’s third quarter for the Lakers. Thanks to James and Malik Monk, the Lake Show outscored Dallas 31-14.  Stanley Johnson and Monk opened the second half with a 13-1 run, combing for three from deep. Lebron James cashed three straight shots from deep to bring the game within single digits.

The largest lead of the night had been 21 for Dallas. The Hall of Famer had something to say about that. Nine points in five fastbreak attempts energized Laker Nation, while the purple and gold stayed in front for the rest of the quarter.

Dallas got one last three from Finney-Smith in the quarter, but Kent Bazemore responded by hitting one himself to send them into the fourth up by two.

The Laker offense chipped away to maintain the lead in the first minutes of the fourth, but eventually, Dallas found their way back in. Down 100-94, the Mavericks went on a 10-0 run to take over the game in dominant fashion. Luka padded to the lead with three maneuvered buckets, shutting down any momentum gained in the third for Los Angeles.

The Lakers awaited the game’s end in shame, knowing they’ve yet to win in the second half. The comeback was impressive, but that winning mindset doesn’t know how to close at this time. Dallas secured the win, continuing on a dominant stretch that has them 5th in the Western Conference.

 

The Lakers face their stadium rivals again Thursday, matching up with the Clippers at 7:00 p.m on TNT.         

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Duncan Dye – Franchise Sports Media

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