GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Los Angeles Lakers 23 16 23 24 86
Play by Play Dallas Mavericks 27 36 23 36 122


Mavs eliminate Lakers, sweep Jackson to retirement

By JAIME ARON

DALLAS (AP) So long, Phil.

So long, chances for another Lakers three-peat.

Hello, Western Conference finals for Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks.

Jason Terry tied an NBA postseason record with nine 3-pointers and the Mavericks matched a league playoff mark with 20 3s on their way to a 122-86 victory over the Lakers on Sunday and a sweep of their second-round series against the most successful coach in NBA history and the two-time defending champions.

Terry made five 3s in the second quarter, personally outscoring Los Angeles 20-16 in the period and helping Dallas lead by 24 at halftime. When Terry made 3s on consecutive possessions early in the third quarter, he drained whatever comeback hopes the Lakers had left.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Lakers were so devastated that Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum resorted to throwing cheap shots. They were ejected 45 seconds apart, with Jackson sitting on the bench looking as if he'd already checked out. Kobe Bryant soon joined him on the sideline, with deep reserves playing out the final minutes of what turned out to be the second-widest margin of defeat in Lakers playoff history and in Jackson's storied playoff career.

Jackson left the court with a tight smile, accepting hugs and handshakes from Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, Jason Kidd and Mark Cuban. It was the first time he'd been swept in his 21 postseasons on the sideline. It hadn't happened to Bryant and the Lakers since 1999, the year before the Zen Master arrived in Los Angeles. This is the fourth time any NBA champion defending multiple titles has been swept, according to STATS LLC. The last was the 1996 Houston Rockets.

For Nowitzki and the Mavs, clearing this hurdle sets them up for a chance to redeem themselves for flopping during the 2006 NBA finals and for flaming out in every postseason since.

Dallas will host either Oklahoma City or Memphis in the conference finals. The Grizzlies lead the Thunder 2-1 going into Game 4 on Monday night. The next round likely won't start before next Sunday, a layoff that could pay huge dividends for a roster filled with players in their 30s.

Then again, they might want to keep playing the way they're going.

Terry made 11 of 14 shots for 32 points, missing more inside the arc than outside. He fell a few points shy of his most in a playoff game only because the game was such a blowout. J.J. Barea set a career playoff-best with 22 points and Peja Stojakovic added 21 points. All three of those guys come off the bench.

Nowitzki scored 17 points - his fewest this postseason. Dallas was so good in this game it hardly needed its best player. He was still in during the fourth quarter and took the blindside blow that led to Odom's ejection.

Soon after, Barea took a Bynum elbow to the 'M' on his Mavericks jersey while up in the air after releasing the ball for a layup. Fans threw things toward the court and officials scrambled to keep the peace. Bynum took off his jersey and was escorted to the locker room by Ron Artest, of all people. Artest was suspended from Game 3 because of his shot on Barea in the closing seconds of Game 2.

The Lakers blew big, late leads in Games 1 and 3, and came in talking about cleaning up their fourth-quarter performance. They never got that far.

The second quarter proved to be one of the most spectacular in Mavericks history, thanks mostly to Terry.

He was 5 of 6 from behind the arc that period, and the team was 7 of 8 - despite Jackson's repeated demands that his players run at them to try forcing them to dribble up for 2-pointers instead of 3s. Jackson isn't big on using timeouts to slow a team's momentum, but he did so twice to little avail. The Mavericks had a run of 13-2 early in the quarter and 10-1 spurt at the end.

Nowitzki was practically a spectator, scoring just four of the Mavericks' 36 points in the second. Barea and Stojakovic took their starring turns, with Barea zigzagging through the paint and Stojakovic nailing a 3 from the corner and a long one from straightaway at the end of a long possession.

Dallas was 11 of 14 on 3-point tries in the first half, tying another NBA postseason record. While many of those shots were wide open, the space often came because of great passes off drives to the rim. The Mavericks had assists on 20 of their 25 first-half baskets.

Bryant tried to stop the bleeding during that second quarter, but couldn't. He made only 1 of 5 shots in the period and had two turnovers. His only basket came after shoving Barea away from him; the pesky little point guard got even on the other end of the floor, driving straight to the rim for a layup.

Bryant finished 7 of 18 for 17 points. Shannon Brown was Los Angeles' next-best scorer with 15. Pau Gasol's lost postseason continued, too; he had 10 points and eight rebounds.

While the 65-year-old Jackson would've preferred going out with a 12th title - bundled neatly in four three-peats - this exit does nothing to tarnish his legacy. A Hall of Famer since 2007, he leaves with a record 11 titles - and only 10 series losses. Take away Red Auerbach, who won nine championships, and Jackson won more titles than any two coaches combined.

Four of Jackson's five kids flew to Dallas because they didn't want to miss his finale. On Saturday, Jackson called that "a drag that I don't need," but by Sunday afternoon he was probably happy to have them around.

Mavericks fans were going bonkers all afternoon, thrilled by the mere chance of a sweep. Once it became obvious, they still celebrated wildly.

But when the game ended, confetti didn't fall, symbolic of the organization's bigger goal of reaching the finals and winning its first championship.

They're halfway there. They've also won a franchise-record six straight playoff games, a streak that began right after they blew a 23-point lead in Game 4 of their first-round series against Portland.

NOTES: Rex Chapman, Vince Carter and Ray Allen are the others who've made nine 3s in a playoff game. ... Dallas became the eighth team to make 11 3s in one half of a playoff game. Chicago did it to Indiana earlier this postseason. ... Jackson's career postseason record is sealed at 229-104, the most wins and the highest winning percentage (.688) in NBA playoff history. His .704 regular-season winning percentage is another best. ... Teams trailing 0-3 are now 0-99 in NBA playoff history. The Lakers are the 60th to get swept.


Copyright 2011 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

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1 Time since Pau Gasol became a Laker in February of 2008 that L.A. would not advance to the NBA Finals. Gasol, struggling uncharacteristically throughout the series, finished with 10 points, eight boards and six assists.

9 Three-pointers hit by Jason Terry in 10 attempts, the greatest long-range shooting performance in NBA history (matching the record most recently hit by Ray Allen).

11 Coaching championships for Phil Jackson, whose fourth three-peat was not to be.

17 Points for Kobe Bryant on 7-of-18 field goals, only one of which came after his 6-for-8 first quarter.

20 Threes hit in the game by the Mavs to match an NBA playoff record. Along with Terry's nine, Dallas got 6-of-6 from Peja Stojakovic. The Lakers, who hit five triples in this one, had only 15 in the entire series, five fewer than Dallas hit in Game 4 alone.




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Points Bryant 17, 7-18 FG
Rebounds Gasol 8, 6 OFF 2 DEF
Assists Gasol 6
Steals Brown 3
Blocks Bynum, Gasol 1


POSTGAME QUOTES


Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson


"Well I don't think I've seen a team play to that level in a series in a game like they played this afternoon. They [Dallas] were terrific. I didn't think we played bad to start the ballgame, but that second quarter it was like the roof fell in on us. I wasn't happy with the way our players exited the game, on Lamar [Odom's] and Andrew's [Bynum's] part. It was unnecessary, but I know they were frustrated. And Barea was one of the guys that really frustrated us tonight. Other than that the Lakers will have to go back and put it back together, again, to have a team that comes back and challenges next year."

(Are you stunned that 6 days ago the Lakers were being talked about as the favorite to win the West and her you're sitting now?) ¨C No, I'm not. I think I told you guys all along that Dallas is a very good team. We had the same record they had during the season. And they played better as a team than we did."

(Were you worried after New Orleans gave you such a hassle in the first round that this might happen?) ¨C "No, there's a way we can play that we can win ballgames. We had to play a style that was refined and a pace that was ours. We were able to do that for three-and-half quarters in both the first and the third games in the series, but we weren't able to finish them off. That's the difference. Perhaps Dallas is a little deeper team, a little more talented off the bench than we were and it came to bear during the course of these playoffs."

(Have you coached your final game, if so what are the emotions of the moment?) ¨C "[It] feels really good to be ending this season to be honest with you. I came back this last year with some trepidation. Kobe's knee was an issue and obviously our team was older. The thrill of trying to chase a three-peat is always an exciting thing. But, yes, I knew it was a big challenge for this team to three-peat. We've gone to the Finals and to go back twice and win it after losing '08 puts a lot of strain on the basketball club from all angles: personalities, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and getting charged up for game after game and assault after assault when you go in and play a team. So, it was a challenge bigger that we could beat this year."

(And you final game I assume? Was this your last game?) ¨C "I haven't answered that, have I? And you're not going to force me to answer it. But, yes, this is in all my hopes and aspirations that this is the final game that I'll coach. This has been a wonderful run. I go out with a sour note after being fined $35,000 this morning by the league, so that's not fun having a feeling like I've been chased down the freeway by them. But as Richard Nixon says, 'You won't be able to kick this guy around anymore.'"

(You're not a sentimental guy, but what did you tell the guys in the locker room right now?) ¨C "That we're disappointed in the way we finished the game. We wanted to have a good game. I didn't like the way Andrew and Lamar finished like I mentioned just now. We ran into a buzz saw today. Sometimes you can't get a win. You'd like to have an opportunity to challenge but we didn't."






Lakers Center Andrew Bynum


(Was it frustration why you got ejected?) "A little bit frustrated and they kept making layups."

(Are you disappointed in yourself?) "No, I'm not disappointed in myself. It is what it is. We got embarrassed tonight, so that's what happened."

(Why the flagrant foul?) "I think it was more we were getting embarrassed, they were breaking us down. So I just fouled somebody."

(Did you sense your guys were tired?) "I think they just came out and beat us from the start."

(Why were they able to be so successful from three?) "Because they definitely studied tape, watched how we were playing defense, and they just picked it apart."

(Was the threes a result of a hot hand or lack of defense?) "They studied for our defense. Dirk was drawing double teams. Their whole thing was drive and kick."

(How much was the fact that the Lakers have played so many playoff games in the past three years impact the game?) "I don't think it did. I think we got kind of demoralized last week in Game 1. Then coming out and losing Game 3 in the last five minutes, we just didn't play defense."






Lakers Forward Lamar Odom

"I don't know where we lost it, that drive, that bond we had in the past, that cohesive drive in order to overcome adversity. When I think about this series, and I think about this game it looks like we got beat by a good team, which of course we respect."

"We expect to win. For myself, a humbling experience. I came in ready. I've been able to do so many things, but I would give it all up, the rewards or the recognition, to be able to play in the championship round."

(What happened on the ejection?) "I was a little embarrassed. I went to fill the rim out, they were already up 30, and I didn't mean anything by it."

(What will you remember the most about playing for Phil?) "Just the moments. History and being a part of it. Winning and losing championships and being victorious."

(Why were they able to be so successful from three?) "They played their butts off. They played how you're supposed to play in a close out game."

"Losing is losing. Of course, you don't want to get beat like that, get swept. Obviously something wasn't there. We couldn't overcome a lot of things we usually overcome. A lot of things we used to overcome. It makes no difference; it could have happened the next round or the Finals."

(Can you put your finger on what went wrong this series and season?) "When you look back on the season, letting teams hang in there that we shouldn't let hang in there with us. It's a humbling experience, I'll tell you one thing. Coach always says basketball is a humbling game. When you play on this level and you win and people expect you to win and everything is great, people know us. When you get beat like the way we got beat, you realize this a part of life."







Mavs center Tyson Chandler


"It felt good tonight, but we know we're only half home. We've got eight wins but we need eight more and that's our ultimate goal."

"This was an incredible day. Not only did we play great defense, we played great offense. We shot the ball amazingly. I don't know how many records we set three-point wise and it was a great show tonight."

"This is the best we've played since early in the season. We came out of training camp with defense on our minds and I felt like we started the season off right and then with our injuries we slipped a little. Playoffs start and you have to get back into the mind set of what you want to accomplish and how you want to accomplish things and I felt like we really picked things back up."

"We understand that defense wins championships. This is a team that has always had offensive fire power and if we can stop teams on the other end we have a great chance to win every game and make it easier on ourselves."

(Talk about the two fragrant fouls late in the game?) ¨C "That is unfortunate that those guys would do that because we're all NBA players out there and we're all playing the game and there is no need for that kind of stuff. We'll move on and we've got another series to prepare for."

(How much will the rest help?) ¨C "I think it's huge because we've got some older guys that can use some rest and get our bodies right and then we'll see what happens in the other series and mentally get ourselves ready for the next round."




Mavericks guard J.J. Barea

"We were shooting the ball great tonight and we were getting stops and that's why you play basketball for is days like this."

(Talk about your game today and have a career-playoff high in scoring?) ¨C "It was awesome and I wanted to give it all for my teammates to get a win tonight so I came off the bench with a lot of energy and the pick-n-roll was really working for us tonight. We were running them a lot and it was just awesome."

(Talk about how good the Mavs bench has been?) ¨C "We knew we had a good bench especially when we shoot the ball like that and we really came out with energy and we were more aggressive than they were tonight and it worked out for us."










LAKERS VS. MAVERICKS GAME 4 PREVIEW

By JAIME ARON

DALLAS (AP) So this is how it could end for Phil Jackson, the guy who turned Michael Jordan into a champion, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal into champions, and Bryant into a winner without O'Neal.

With a sweep.

To the Dallas Mavericks, no less, a team with a postseason reputation that is, well, pretty much the opposite of what folks associate with Jackson, Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The two-time defending champions trail Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs 3-0 going into Game 4 of their second-round series on Sunday. Dallas hasn't dominated the series, but has been the better team in every fourth quarter, wiping out deficits in Games 1 and 3.

Bryant considers the final minutes his time to shine, yet he hasn't done it this series, missing a potential winner in the opener and missing 4 of 6 down the stretch on Friday night. Pau Gasol has been so bad the entire postseason that Jackson finally snapped during the last game, uncharacteristically berating his big man on the sideline.

There's no reason to hold back now, not with time running out on Jackson's career and on Los Angeles' reign. At this point, it seems more like a question of when, not if, as all 98 NBA teams to go down 0-3 have eventually been eliminated; 59 were swept.

"I told them not to think about that," Jackson said Saturday. "You're thinking about winning tomorrow's game, forcing another game in L.A. on Tuesday."

His five kids, however, aren't taking any chances.

"They think they have to hustle in just in case this is the last game that I coach," Jackson said. "That's a drag that I don't need to have happen, but they're coming anyway because they're insisting upon it."

Jackson is too into the Zen approach of living in the moment to be distracted by sentiment, or to think about how humiliating a sweep might be. Then again, he wouldn't know. The winner of an unprecedented 11 titles, he's lost only nine series in his previous 20 postseasons. He's never even been down 0-3.

Bryant has been swept from the playoffs twice in his career, but it hasn't happened since 1999, the year before Jackson took over. Bryant enthusiastically said after Game 3 that he believed his team was tough enough to still win the series.

At the start of practice Saturday, he already had his game face on. He said Jackson's possible farewell and the chance of being swept are not on his mind, and that teammates "don't have a choice" but to believe they can still win the series. He said the Mavericks aren't doing anything to stop him, he's "just not getting (the ball) where I should be."

Bryant also said Gasol is playing OK, just "not playing at the high level that we're accustomed to seeing him playing." The numbers bear it out. Gasol's average of 13.4 points is easily the worst of his playoff career and his 7.8 rebounds are the worst of his four postseasons with the Lakers.

Jackson said Gasol is getting shoved out of the paint by a knee-to-the-rear tactic that's supposed to be against the rules. He said the Hornets got away with it in the first round, so the Mavs have done it, too.

But there's more to Gasol's struggles. He's missing shots he normally makes and is taking some bad ones. Nowitzki has outplayed him on both ends of the court - again. The German is 7-0 against the Spaniard in postseason matchups.

During a timeout following a Nowitzki 3-pointer on Friday night, Jackson smacked Gasol in the chest and got in his face. Jackson said he does it about once a year, and Gasol said "it wasn't shocking to me or anything."

"I just wanted to see what point he was trying to make," Gasol said.

The Lakers will have small forward Ron Artest back in the lineup for Game 4. He was suspended from the last game, which meant a new rotation and added minutes for Gasol and fill-in starter Lamar Odom. Jackson said he wants to try giving all of his key players more rest early in the game so they will be fresher at the end.

As for the Mavericks, they have all sorts of incentive to close out the series Sunday.

Avoiding a return trip to Los Angeles would mean more rest for Nowitzki, 38-year-old Jason Kidd and the rest of the 30-something guys who make up most of Dallas' rotation. It also would remove any talk of a collapse.

If any team could claw back from 0-3, Jackson, Bryant and the three-peat-seeking Lakers might fit the prototype. And the Mavericks have a history of finding ways to lose in the playoffs.

Dallas blew a 2-0 lead in the 2006 NBA finals, and came as close as anyone to blowing a 3-0 lead, needing seven games to get past Portland in 2003. Earlier this postseason, the Mavs let a 23-point lead slip away over the final 14 minutes against those same Trail Blazers.

They haven't lost since, winning five straight. They've played tight defense (blowing apart another of their stereotypes), Nowitzki has been terrific and he's had a different teammate or two step up each game. On Friday night, it was Jason Terry and Peja Stojakovic.

"We've got to stay on task and be resourceful and opportunistic," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said.



Copyright 2011 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





Lakers Kobe Bryant (sprained left ankle) will play.
Matt Barnes (sore right knee) is probable.
Andrew Bynum (bone bruise, right knee) is probable.
Devin Ebanks (stress fracture, left tibia) is out.

Caron Butler (ruptured right patellar tendon) is out.



Game 1: 5/02 - DAL @ LAL L 94-96
Game 2: 5/04 -
DAL @ LAL L 81-93
Game 3: 5/06 -
LAL @ DAL L 92-98
Game 4: 5/08 -
LAL @ DAL
Game 5: 5/10 -
DAL @ LAL*
Game 6: 5/12 -
LAL @ DAL*
Game 7: 5/15 -
DAL @ LAL*
* if necessary

Regular Season:
01/19
- LAL @ DAL L 100-109
03/12 - LAL @ DAL W 96-91
03/31 - DAL @ LAL W 110-82


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GAME NOTES

SEASON& SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers took this season's series from Dallas 2-1 after splitting last season's series 2-2 and sweeping the '08-09 season series with the Mavericks 3-0. The Lakers last lost a season series to Dallas in 2006-07 (1-3), their first series loss to the Mavericks since the 1986-87 season and only the third ever (1983-84). Overall, the Lakers are 7-3 against the Mavericks in their last 10 games. In Dallas, the Lakers have gone 4-6 in their last 10 games at American Airlines Center. The Lakers are 18-4 all-time against the Mavericks at STAPLES Center and 8-2 in their last 10 home games overall. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 28-13 against the Mavericks. In their first meeting last season (10/30/09), the Lakers lost for just the 11th time at home against the Mavericks, ending a 6-game win streak against Dallas as well as a 4-game home win streak against the Mavs. Also last season, on 1/3/10 at STAPLES Center, the Lakers established a new series record for margin of victory over Dallas, defeating the Mavericks by 35 (131-96), surpassing the old 33-point margin of victory established 12/1/93 (124-91). In their first meeting of the 2008-09 season, Jason Kidd posted his 101st career triple-double and his fourth ever against the Lakers. 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 2007-08, Bryant again went over the 50-point mark against the Mavericks, scoring 52 points in the Lakers 108-104 overtime victory March 2 at STAPLES Center. Mavericks forward Caron Butler played the 2004-05 season with the Lakers, averaging 15.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.44 steals in 35.7 minutes over 77 games. Mavericks center Tyson Chandler played locally at Dominguez High School in Compton, CA where he helped the Dons to three straight CIF Div. II state championships. Prior to this postseason, the Lakers and Mavericks have met in the playoffs three times (1984 WC Semifinals (4-1), 1986 WC Semifinals (4-2), 1988 WC Finals (4-3)) with the Lakers advancing on each occasion.

DOWN 3-0
With a 98-92 loss to the Dallas Mavericks 5/6 at American Airlines Center, the Lakers fell behind 3-0 in a best-of-seven series for the seventh time in franchise history. In each of the previous six times, they have gone on to lose the series in four games (1959 NBA Finals, 1977 Conference Finals, 1983 NBA Finals, 1989 NBA Finals, 1998 Conference Finals, 1999 Conference Semifinals). This marks the first time in his career as a head coach that Phil Jackson has lost the first three games of a postseason series.

BRYANT PASSES O'NEAL FOR 3rd ON NBA'S ALL-TIME PLAYOFF SCORING LIST
With 17 points 5/6 at Dallas, Kobe Bryant passed Shaquille O'Neal (5,248) for 3rd on the NBA's all-time postseason scoring list. Only Michael Jordan (1st/5,987) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2nd/5,762) have scored more points in the playoffs than Bryant (5,263). Among all players with 2,500+ postseason points, only Michael Jordan (33.4), Jerry West (29.1), Elgin Baylor (27.0), Hakeem Olajuwon (25.9) and Dirk Nowitzki (25.7) have a higher postseason scoring average than Bryant (25.4). Last postseason, Bryant's fade away jumper at the 8:58 mark of the third quarter April 22, 2010 at Oklahoma City moved him past Jerry West (4,457) for 1st on the Lakers all- time playoff scoring list.

ELIMINATION GAMES
The Lakers are 43-41 in postseason elimination games (games in which a loss would end a Lakers playoff run), going 34-35 since moving to Los Angeles and 9-6 while playing in Minneapolis. Since 2000, the Lakers are 8-5 in 13 elimination games: Game 6 & 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals (W), Game 7 of the 2009 WC Semifinals vs. Houston (W), Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals at Boston (L), Game 5 of the 2008 NBA Finals vs. Boston (W), Game 5 of the 2007 WC First Round at Phoenix (L), Game 7 of the 2006 WC First Round at Phoenix (L), Game 5 of the 2004 NBA Finals at Detroit (L), Game 6 of the 2003 WC Semis versus San Antonio (L), Game 7 of the 2002 WC Finals at Sacramento (W), Game 6 of the 2002 WC Finals vs. Sacramento (W), Game 7 of the 2000 WC Finals vs. Portland (W) and Game 5 of the 2000 WC First Round vs. Sacramento (W).
Lakers head coach Phil Jackson has coached in 20 elimination games - 1990 Eastern Conference Finals (twice), 1992 EC Semis, 1994 EC Semis (twice), 1995 EC Semis, 1998 EC Finals, 2000 WC First Round, 2000 WC Finals, 2002 WC Finals (twice), 2003 WC Semis, 2004 NBA Finals, 2006 WC First Round, 2007 WC First Round, 2008 NBA Finals (twice), 2009 WC Semis, 2010 NBA Finals (twice) - leading his teams to victory in 12 of those games (12-8).

BRYANT'S 81 30+ POINT GAMES TRAIL ONLY MICHAEL JORDAN IN NBA PLAYOFF HISTORY
With 36 points 5/2 vs. Dallas, Kobe Bryant recorded his 81st career 30+ point playoff game, moving him further past both Jerry West (74) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (75) for the second most 30+ point playoff games in NBA history. Only Michael Jordan (109) has more 30+ point playoff games than Bryant. Elgin Baylor (60) and Shaquille O'Neal (55) round out the all-time list. Bryant, who recorded his first 30+ point playoff game in the 2000 NBA Playoffs, posted 14 30+ point games during the 2010 Championship run and 15 during the 2009 Championship postseason.






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