Lakers Gameday | 03/18/08 | Lakers 102, Mavericks 100

Team 1 2 3 4 F
Los Angeles Lakers 28 31 18 25 102
Dallas Mavericks 21 17 27 35 100

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  • Mavs Rally From Down 25, But Fall Short to Lakers

    DALLAS, March 18 (AP) -- Kobe Bryant took a pass in the lane and spun toward a defender, flicking the ball over his head once his back was toward the basket. The ball hit the glass, caromed off the rim and fell into the net.

    Just like that, the Los Angeles Lakers were up by 25 points midway through the third quarter. And the momentum the Dallas Mavericks thought they'd built with five lopsided wins over lousy teams seemed silly.

    Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs ended up making things interesting all the way to the final buzzer, but it wasn't enough to change the outcome. The Lakers won 102-100 Tuesday night, ending a skid of three losses in four games and putting them back into a tie with Houston for the best record in the Western Conference.

    "It's a big win for us,'' Bryant said. "We had to stop the bleeding. We got a big lead, but it wasn't the way we wanted to close out the game. But we got the win.''

    Bryant scored only nine of his 29 points in the second half. He also jammed his hip. An injury to an MVP front-runner could be devastating considering this was Los Angeles' second straight game without Pau Gasol and before the game coach Phil Jackson said emerging center Andrew Bynum probably won't return until the playoffs.

    "I'm good. I'm straight,'' Bryant said. "I jammed my hip into the socket. It hurt for a minute and then released. I'm fine.''

    With Bryant slowed at the end, Vladimir Radmanovic stepped up, scoring 10 of his season-high 21 points in the final quarter. His spurt included three 3s, all of them while the Mavericks were challenging the biggest comeback in team history.

    Dallas made only 12 shots in the first half and scored just 38 points. It was so bad that some fans booed and others chanted MVP for Bryant. Jessica Simpson, sitting in the front row with beau Tony Romo, was in jeopardy of being blamed for another loss by one of her hometown teams.

    But the Mavs closed the third quarter on a 14-1 run, then opened the fourth with a 9-2 spurt. They pushed again at the end, with consecutive 3-pointers from Nowitzki making it 98-97 with 41 seconds left. A long 3 by Jason Terry got Dallas within 101-100 with 4.9 seconds to go.

    Derek Fisher made one of two fouls shots after that, giving the Mavericks a chance to win it or take their chances in overtime - like when the teams met in Los Angeles two weeks before. Nowitzki nailed a 3 to tie it last time, but this time his shot went wide right. Part of the problem was a low inbounds pass from Josh Howard that cost the big German precious seconds.

    "Still, I had a good look,'' he said.

    Nowitzki had 35 points, 11 rebounds and a season-high five blocks, but the Mavericks' five-game winning streak was snapped. Dallas fell to 0-6 against teams with winning records since adding Jason Kidd.

    Kidd had his worst game since arriving from New Jersey, with one point (0-for-3 shooting, including a missed 3-pointer in the final half-minute), seven assists and three rebounds in only 28 minutes. He was benched from 6:27 of the third to 5:51 of the fourth.

    Nowitzki said Los Angeles' great shooting in the first half kept Kidd from being a factor, which knocked the whole team out of whack.

    "It's hard to get out running when you have to take the ball inbounds every time,'' said Nowitzki, whose frustration about the first half was evident when he hurled the ball the length of the court after the buzzer.

    Lamar Odom scored 17 points for Los Angeles and Ronny Turiaf had 17 points, 17 rebounds and lots of tenacious play.

    Jackson was disappointed that his players let Dallas rally, especially since he warned them exactly what to avoid and they didn't listen.

    "They were pretty thick-headed tonight,'' he said.

    Terry and Howard scored 19 points for Dallas, which slipped to seventh in the West. With 24 losses, the Mavericks have the same amount as eighth-seeded Golden State, but lead the Warriors by three games in the win column.

    The Mavericks can't let this loss linger as Boston comes to town Thursday night and San Antonio on Sunday, giving them two more chances to try beating a championship contender.

    "If we come out and played focused basketball like we're capable of doing, we can beat anybody,'' Jerry Stackhouse said. "If not, we'll be hanging our heads down like tonight.''

    Notes: Mavs security kept two more bloggers out of the locker room, as per team owner Mark Cuban's policy. ... Bryant shot 27 free throws last time the teams met. He had only six this time - and made only three. ... Dallas' game against the Clippers next Tuesday will be shown live in 3D high definition to an invitation-only audience of 100 fans picked from the team's Web site. The 2007 All-Star game and Game 2 of last year's NBA finals are the only previous live sporting events shown in 3D HD.

    Copyright 2007 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited


    Los Angeles Lakers
    Record: 46-21
    Streak:Won 1

    INJURY REPORT
    Trevor Ariza: Fractured Foot - Out
    Kobe Bryant: Dislocated Pinkie - Will Play
    Andrew Bynum: Left Patella Subluxation - Out
    Chris Mihm: Right Ankle Bursitis - Out
    Pau Gasol: Left Ankle Sprain- Out
    Dallas Mavericks
    Record: 44-24
    Streak: Lost 1

    INJURY REPORT
    None

    LAKERS BEST
    Points

    K. Bryant
    29
    Rebounds

    L. Odom
    17
    Assists

    K. Bryant
    7
    Plus/Minus

    V. Ramanovic
    +14

    POST-GAME NUMBERS
  • 25 - Lakers largest lead in the game. The Lakers led through the 1st half and the beginning of the 3rd, but Dallas made it nail-bitingly close
  • 21 - Points for Vladimir Radmanovic. Vladi added 10 rebounds in a strong effort. His 3's in the 3rd helped hold off Dallas after they had first brought it into single digits.
  • 17 - Rebounds for Lamar Odom. 6 of those were on the offensive end as Lamar played a pivotal role in the paint.
  • 9 - Turnovers for the Lakers. One of the consistent elements across all the games of the road trip has been the turnovers. The Lakers once again minimized turnovers in a hostile environment.
  • 1 - Point for Jason Kidd. J Kidd only had 7 assists and 3 rebounds. He wasn't on the floor when Dallas made their run in the 3rd to cut into the lead.
  • 6 - Points for Erick Dampier. In the game in LA on 3/2 Dampier went for 16 and 17, tonight he only added 9 rebounds despite the Lakers weakened front line.
  • ---Lakers.com
    PHOTOS

    PROBABLE STARTERS
    Los Angeles Lakers
    Guard

    D. Fisher
    Guard

    K. Bryant
    Forward

    V. Radmanovic
    Forward

    L. Odom
    Center

    R. Turiaf
    Dallas Mavericks
    Guard

    J. Kidd
    Guard

    J. Stackhouse
    Forward

    J. Howard
    Forward

    D. Nowitzki
    Center

    E. Dampier

    GAME NOTES
    SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
    The Lakers are currently tied with Dallas 1-1 on the season with two games remaining after losing last season’s series with the Mavericks 1-3 for the first time since the 1986-87 season and only the second time ever (1983-84). This will be the 117th overall meeting between the two franchises with the Lakers holding an 88-28 series advantage. In their last meeting, at STAPLES Center March 2, the Lakers defeated the Mavericks 108-104 in overtime behind Kobe Bryant’s NBA season-high 52 points. The Lakers are 4-6 against the Mavericks in their last 10 overall games. At Staples Center, the Lakers are 13-3 all-time against the Mavericks, but in their last 10 games in Dallas, the Lakers are 4-6 and have lost their last 4 in a row at American Airlines Center. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 19-10 against the Mavericks. In December of 2005, Kobe Bryant established a new series record with 62 points against the Mavericks in a 112-90 victory at STAPLES Center. In that contest, Bryant single-handedly outscored the Mavericks 62-61 through three quarters. In 38 games (32 starts), Bryant is averaging 25.1 points for his career against Dallas. Mavericks guard/forward Devean George played his first seven seasons with the Lakers, winning three championships. In 429 games, George averaged 6.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in 18.9 minutes and ranks among the franchise leaders in 3-point FG% (10th/.340) and 3-point FG made (9th/282). Mavericks guard Eddie Jones (1994-99) played his first five seasons with the Lakers, averaged 15.2 points and still ranks among franchise leaders in 3-point FG% (4th/.378), 3-point FG made (tied 4th/ 489) and steals (10th/644).

    ROCKY ROAD
    On the heels of the Lakers record-setting 9-game February road trip throughout the East, the Lakers again embark on another road trip for the ages. With New Orleans holding a 43-20 record going into their contest 3/14, Houston holding a 45-20 record going into their contest 3/16, and in facing Dallas (44-23) and Utah (44-24) over the next week, the Lakers will be going up against a cumulative record of 176-87 for a winning percentage of .669. The Lakers have not faced a 4-game trip in which all opponents have played a minimum of 50 games and possess a cumulative winning percentage exceeding .600 since February 4-9 of 1973 when the Lakers traveled back east to face Baltimore, New York, Boston and Milwaukee. League-wide, no team has faced such a scenario since the Memphis Grizzlies’ 4-game trip to Dallas, Houston, Denver and San Antonio April 11-16 of 2005.

    STREAKS & STANDINGS
    The Lakers most recent streak, a season-high six straight home wins, ended March 9 vs. Sacramento. Previously, the Lakers last won 6-straight at home last season from 12/31-1/22. Their last 7-game home win streak came as part of an 8-game streak to begin the 2006-07 season from 10/31/06 – 11/26/06. The Lakers entered March coming off of a 13-2 February but saw both their season-high 10-game win streak and season-high 7-game road win streak come to an end 2/29 at Portland. The Lakers 10 consecutive victories was the longest such streak since the 2003-04 team won 11-straight from March 13 – April 2, 2004. Additionally, the Lakers seven straight road wins was the longest such streak since a 7-game mark from March 17 – April 5, 2000. In regards to standings, the Lakers trail Houston by one game for the Western Conference lead while leading Phoenix by one game for first place in the Pacific Division. Earlier in the season, the Lakers held the top spot in the West for two days (January 15-16) with a record of 26-11, marking the first time the Lakers led the Western Conference as late as January since they led the West back on April 3, 2004 with a record of 53-23. The Lakers regained the top spot in the West February 23 and held the top spot through March 5. The Lakers would once again regain the top spot in the West March 7 and either held or tied for the Conference lead through March 15. In all, through March 16, the Lakers have ended 23 days this season either holding or being tied for the lead in the Western Conference.

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