GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Dallas Mavericks 21 27 24 19 91
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 25 23 24 24 96


Lakers hit midway mark with 96-91 win over Dallas

By STEPHEN HAWKINS


Posted Feb 22 2012 9:49PM

DALLAS (AP) Andrew Bynum had 19 points and 14 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers hit the halfway point of their season with a 96-91 victory over the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

Bynum had a huge smile on his face when he grabbed a rebound of his own miss and was fouled trying to go back up with 5:29 left. He made both free throws to break an 82-all tie and finally put the Lakers (20-13) ahead to stay after 13 ties and 10 lead changes.

Pau Gasol had 24 points for the Lakers, while Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher each had 15.

Dirk Nowitzki had 25 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Mavericks (21-13), who played their final game before the All-Star break. Vince Carter had 20.

After the Mavericks failed to take advantage of a turnover by Bryant when Jason Terry gave it right back, Bynum was underneath the basket with the ball. But he instead passed it to Fisher in the left corner for a 3-pointer. Bynum was smiling broadly when he ran and hugged Fisher when Dallas called timeout.

Fisher's driving short jumper with 3:41 left ended a 9-0 run that made it 89-82. The Lakers held on despite missing six consecutive free throws after that.

Bryant missed two free throws with 37 seconds left. After Nowitzki's tip-in got the Mavericks within 93-91, Gasol was fouled and missed both of his free throws with 20 seconds left.

But Matt Barnes grabbed the rebound and was quickly fouled. He ended the Lakers' charity-line slump with two free throws.

Bynum had one more big play in that closing streak, with an alley-oop dunk from Bryant with 1:05 left for a 93-86 lead.

The Lakers have one more game before the All-Star break, on Thursday night at Oklahoma City.

Lamar Odom missed the game for the Mavericks against his former team. Odom was the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year for the Lakers last season and won three NBA championship rings in seven years in Los Angeles.

Coach Rick Carlisle said Odom was excused from the game to attend to a family matter and will rejoin the team after the All-Star break.

Steve Blake had a steal on a turnover by Terry and passed ahead to Gasol for a one-handed slam that gave the Lakers their largest lead, 42-28 with 6:21 left in the first half.

That was the end of 12 consecutive points that were part of a 17-2 Los Angeles run.

That included a pair of 3-pointers by Andrew Goudelock in a 66-second span. In between that was another turnover by Terry that Troy Murphy turned into a layup when he realized nobody was around him under the basket.

But the Mavericks finished the half with a 20-6 run over the final 5:33 to tie the game at 48-all by the break.

Nowitzki scored the last six Dallas points, two free throws with 1:23 and then a pair of jumpers in the final 42 seconds. He made a 15-foot floater and after grabbing a long rebound of a miss by Gasol, Nowitzki made a tying jumper.

The Lakers jumped out to a 12-3 lead in the first 4 minutes of the game, and coach Rick Carlisle had already used two timeouts by then.

They needed only 2 minutes after the second timeout to get back within 12-10 when Carter hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key.

Bryant was still scoreless until two free throws with 10 seconds left in the first quarter to make it 25-18. Carter made a 3-pointer to end the first and a short jumper to start the second, though the Mavericks didn't take their first lead on Brian Cardinal's 3-pointer from the left corner.

But Barnes hit a 3-pointer from the left corner to start the 17-2 Lakers run.

Notes: All the Mavericks except Nowitzki, who will make his 11th consecutive All-Star appearance, have the next four days off. They play nine games in 12 days, starting with Tuesday's home game against New Jersey. ... Rangers designated hitter/first baseman Michael Young was shown on the overhead video board before the start of the fourth quarter. Young is a big Lakers fan. Rangers position players don't have to report to training camp in Arizona until Saturday.


Copyright 2012 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





View More Photos


Points Gasol 24, 11-18 FG
Rebounds Bynum 14, 5 OFF 9 DEF
Assists Blake 5
Steals Gasol 3
Blocks World Peace 2


POSTGAME QUOTES



Mike Brown:

(On tonight's game)

“Good by our group. We had a lot of guys step up and play well for us. One of the things that we talked about at halftime [was] we felt that our half court defense was pretty good, but we gave up too many easy baskets off our turnovers and then off of second chance points. We slowed them down in that area a little bit, but 45 points, so half of their points were off of second chance opportunities and our turnovers. So, if we would’ve done better in that area, and obviously shot free throws better, we would’ve hopefully not had it as close going down the stretch. But, at the end of the day you give up those easy baskets, and this is a very, very good Dallas Mavericks team. And when you look at the final field goal percentage with them shooting 40% from the field, and scoring 91 points; that’s a productive night for our defense. I thought Pau [Gasol] was great. Andrew [Bynum] was great with his double-double. There were guys who came off the bench that contributed; I thought Steve Blake’s 5 assists were huge, and then Matt’s [Barnes] 9 [points] and 9 [rebounds]. To come up with 9 boards, especially the offensive at the end of the game was huge for us.”

(With 3 minutes to go this game was tied; what allowed you to decide it?)

“Well, I thought our guys did a nice job of executing down the stretch. I feel like offensively we’re getting a little better. But, right now our end of game execution isn’t quite where I want; we don’t as quite a feel [with it] as during the flow of the game. But, we had an idea of what we wanted to do and so we tried to do it. It worked out well. I thought the ball was moved very well. I thought we got the ball from one side of the floor to the other, made their defense move a little bit, and made some plays at the right time.”




Derek Fisher:

(On what finally decided the game?)

“Well, Matt Barnes finally made a couple of free throws, so that was big for sure. Also, having a bit of a cushion on the road is big. We’ve played from behind a lot in our road games, and to have that cushion so that when things don’t always go as well, you can still get a win.”

(On what it says to get a win when Kobe didn’t have a big game?) “

There are a lot of good teams, but this team [Dallas] has been playing well, and defensively they’ve been really great in recent weeks. Obviously with the way last season ended it was a big game for a lot of us that remember that. But this is a team. We realize that Kobe is our lead guy. He’s going to be the guy that carries the game most nights, but Pau and Andrew were great, and Matt and Meta were great on the boards from the forward position. It was a good win for us.”

(Have you ever seen a team miss six straight free throws at the end of the game?)

“No, not this team or any team I’ve been on. I’ve seen teams do that before but not our team. Like I said on the floor, we’re doing such a great job of providing off the court drama right now, so we just had to follow it up with on the court drama. We just felt we had a responsibility to the people.”




Andrew Bynum:

(Talk about getting a tough win on the road)

“It was super important for us to get a win on the road, especially against this team. They swept us last year, so that was in the back of our minds. When we play them, we come out and play hard.”

(On the drama at the end of the game)

“Well we missed seven free throws, so I don’t know how many times that’s going to happen. I would love to know what the odds were on that.”




Rick Carlisle:

(On tonight's game)

“The big things with them (Lakers) are the rebounding and trying to keep Bryant contained somewhat, and then the post game. The rebounding really got us in the second half. I think we only gave up 5 offensive rebounds in the first half and then 12 in the second half; that was a huge disparity. They got too many chances. We just kind of struggled in the game—struggled to hit shots that we normally hit. It just seemed like we’d get a little momentum and then we had trouble sustaining. Tough game, but you’ve got to give them credit: their inside game really hurt us.”

(On being a good defensive team and trying to work on offense)

“We need to get healthy. West and Beaubois are too very good offensive players. Odom’s not here tonight. Those things affect us. We’ll keep working at it. I’m not going to make offense the priority over defense; that’s not going to happen. By getting stops you create the really good, random opportunities. That’s how you win playoff games. We’re playing playoff style. The team that has the best defense and flow game wins the championship. That’s the history of this league in the last 10 years. That’s how we did it last year, and that’s how we’re going to have to do it this year.”

(Feelings on the team overall going into All-Star break)

“We’ve made some strides. Our health is an issue; we’ve got to get that right. We’ll get Beaubois and Odom back after the break, and that will help our depth. We’ve just got to keep going. Again, I’m disappointed tonight, I’m not dismayed. I thought our effort was there, we just didn’t make enough plays at both ends. Sometimes that happens, but the break’s coming at a good time. I just told the guys to enjoy the break and come back ready because we’ve got a very busy schedule coming back.”




Shawn Marion:

(On winning 7 of the last 9 games heading into the break):

“This was a nail biter tonight. I think we had our chances to gain a lead and keep it, but we had a few mishaps there in the fourth. They still gave us a chance there, but we weren’t able to pull it out. For the most part, we felt like with the situations and opportunities we gave ourselves a chance.”

(On whether injuries disrupt team rhythm):

“We’ve been down a few bodies, but at the same time, I think we’ve just got to be gracious and hold the fort down until we get 100 percent healthy. Once we do that, I think everything else will take its place.”

(On taking advantage of the break):

“I’m going to relax and enjoy this little break. This has been a quick turnaround. We’ve played a lot of games, but I can’t rest too much because we have to make sure we keep our wind up because when we come out of the break, it’s like nine games in 12 days… We’ve got to keep ourselves ready. Hopefully this is the time everybody can rest their bodies up a little bit more and just be ready to come back and make this second run.”

(On the first half of the season):

“I think we could have definitely been better, but give and take with the circumstances and the way we had to just get it together so quickly, I think it’s not bad at all.”






Lakers-Mavericks Preview

By BRETT HUSTON


Posted Feb 21 2012 12:06PM

For a team that's sitting just outside the top four in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers certainly seem to have a lot of issues.

Their lackluster play on the road is perhaps the biggest.

Beating anyone - particularly quality opponents - away from Staples Center has been a challenge for the Lakers, who will have two prime chances to rectify that with a difficult back-to-back that begins Wednesday night against the surging Dallas Mavericks.

Los Angeles beat Dallas 73-70 at Staples last month, hardly revenge for the Mavs sweeping them out of the West semifinals but a win that seemed to have the Lakers moving in the right direction.

That was their 10th victory in 13 games, but a month later, it's unclear exactly how together the Lakers are. An unhappy Lamar Odom was shipped to Dallas before the season after a proposed three-way trade to land Chris Paul fell through, and now it appears Los Angeles (19-13) may have to do the same with the other key component of that deal.

Kobe Bryant ripped Lakers management after a 102-90 loss at Phoenix on Sunday for allowing Pau Gasol to dangle as additional trade rumors have surfaced. The team seemed to respond a night later against Portland, opening on a 37-7 run en route to a 103-92 victory.

That was followed by a brief players-only meeting to clear the air ahead of the back-to-back in Dallas (21-12) and Oklahoma City.

"I can tell when (Gasol) is down, and when enough is enough," Bryant said Monday. "He went through the first phase and kind of played through that and came out of that, and then he gets hit with another one. You can tell he's down, and it's a little hard to overcome. We've got two big games coming up ... and I don't want him thinking about it."

The win over the Trail Blazers was the Lakers' 14th in 16 games at home, but they've done little to sustain that momentum on the road. After going a conference-best 27-14 away from home last season, they're 5-11.

That includes 1-6 against teams at or above .500 - bad news considering the Mavs and Thunder are a combined 46-19.

"I think we just have to go (on the road) and play with confidence and get rest," center Andrew Bynum said. "We get rest, we're good."

The Lakers could use a big effort from Bynum, who had 17 points and 15 boards to lead Los Angeles past Dallas last month. That performance could be tougher to repeat at the American Airlines Center, where Bynum will certainly get a rough reception after being ejected from the Game 4 loss last season for clotheslining J.J. Barea.

This is the Mavericks' final game before the All-Star break, and they're heading in with momentum. Dallas has won seven of eight after beating Boston 89-73 on Monday, as Dirk Nowitzki moved into the top 20 on the all-time scoring list with a game-high 26.

The Mavs have held opponents to 85.8 points per game and 38.9 percent shooting while winning four in a row at home.

"Our identity this year is that we're a defensive team," coach Rick Carlisle told Dallas' official website. "You look at our stats and you look at our record, you look at when we've struggled and when we play well. Our defense and rebounding is defining who we are."

The loss to the Lakers is Dallas' only one in the 14 games in which it's held opponents to 90 or fewer points.

Jason Terry has averaged 24.0 points - hitting 20 of 33 3-pointers - in the Mavs' last five home games against Los Angeles. Bryant has averaged 18.2 points in that stretch, missing all 16 attempts from beyond the arc.


Copyright 2012 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
Probable Starters .
  Lakers    
  #15 World Peace SF #0 Marion  
  #16 GasolPF #41 Nowitzki  
  #17 Bynum C #33 Haywood  
  #24 Bryant SG #25 Carter  
  #2 Fisher PG #2 Kidd  



Lakers Steve Blake
(costochaondral fracture) is probable.

Rodrigue Beaubois
(personal reasons) not with team.
Delonte West
(right ring finger fracture/dislocation) is out.
Sean Williams
(assigned to Texas Legends) in D-League.


Game 1: 1/16 - DAL @ LAL W 73-70
Game 2: 2/22 - LAL @ DAL
Game 3: 3/21 - LAL @ DAL
Game 4: 4/15 - DAL @ LAL


GAME NOTES

SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers currently lead their season series with the Mavericks 1-0 after taking last season’s series from Dallas 2-1. 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 19-4 all-time against the Mavericks at STAPLES Center and 8-2 in their last 10 home games overall. In their first meeting this season, Derek Fisher connected on a game-winning three-pointer with 3.1 seconds remaining to give the Lakers a 73-70 victory on 1/16/12 at STAPLES Center. The Lakers won in spite of recording the franchise’s second lowest scoring quarter in the NBA’s shot clock era (7 points, third quarter) as their defense limited Dallas to their lowest scoring game in series history (previous low was 80 points 4/6/97 in a game that included the Mavericks posting an NBA recordlow two point quarter). In their first meeting of the 2009-10 season (10/30/09), the Lakers lost for just the 11th time at home against the Mavericks in the regular season, ending a 6-game win streak against Dallas as well as a 4-game home win streak against the Mavs. Also that 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 Lamar Odom was traded to the Mavericks earlier this season on December 11th. In 519 games (382 starts) with the Lakers over seven seasons (2004-2011), Odom posted career averages of 13.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists while earning the 2010-11 Sixth Man of the Year Award and helping the Lakers to two NBA Championships. In the postseason, the Lakers and Mavericks have met in the playoffs four times (1984 WC Semifinals (4-1), 1986 WC Semifinals (4-2), 1988 WC Finals (4-3), 2011 WC Semifinals (0-4)) with the Lakers advancing on three occasions.


LAKERS HOLD BLAZERS TO SEVEN FIRST QUARTER POINTS
In their 103-92 victory over the Trail Blazers on February 20 at STAPLES Center, the Lakers outscored Portland 29-7 in the first quarter, where they held the Trail Blazers to just 3-of-17 shooting and outrebounded Portland 21-5. The Blazers’ seven first quarter points marked their lowest first quarter points total in their 3,363-game history in the NBA. The total also matched the second lowest first quarter points total allowed by the Lakers since moving to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season; on February 4, 1987, the Lakers outscored the Sacramento Kings 40-4 in the first quarter in a 128-92 victory at The Forum and on January 9, 2004, the Lakers outscored the Atlanta Hawks 34-7 in the first period in a 113-67 victory at STAPLES Center. The last time the Lakers held a team to seven points or less in any quarter came back on December 9, 2009, when they outscored the Utah Jazz 28-6 in the fourth quarter in a 101-77 victory at STAPLES Center.*


KOBE BRYANT BECOMES NINTH GUARD IN NBA HISTORY TO ACCUMULATE 6,000 REBOUNDS
With nine rebounds in the Lakers 111-99 victory over Phoenix 2/17 at STAPLES Center, Kobe Bryant (6,005 career rebounds) became the ninth guard in NBA history to accumulate 6,000 rebounds (includes players listed as G, G/F or F/G). Jason Kidd, the only guard in league history to amass 8,000 rebounds, tops the list, with Oscar Robertson (G), Scottie Pippen (F/G) and Chet Walker (F/G) the only other guards to post at least 7,000+ rebounds. Magic Johnson (6,559) leads all Lakers guards in career rebounds while Michael Jordan is another notable guard on the list with 6,672 career rebounds.


BRYANT PASSES SHAQUILLE O’NEAL FOR 5th ON NBA’S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
With a 23-foot jumper at the 5:08 mark in the second quarter 2/6 at Philadelphia, Kobe Bryant moved past Shaquille O’Neal (28,596) for fifth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Last season, Kobe Bryant moved past Hall-of-Famers Moses Malone (27,409) 3/8/11 at Atlanta, Elvin Hayes (27,313) 2/27/11 at Oklahoma City, Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) 1/28/11 vs. Sacramento, Oscar Robertson (26,710) 1/7/11 vs. New Orleans, Dominique Wilkins (26,668) 1/4/11 vs. Detroit and John Havlicek (26,395) 12/10/10 at Chicago on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant (28,601) are Wilt Chamberlain (4th/31,419), Michael Jordan (3rd/32,292), Karl Malone (2nd/36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1st/38,387). Among the top six scorers in NBA history, five have worn the Lakers uniform.

Bryant has been steadily moving up the list over the past few years. In 2009-10, he passed Alex English (25,613), Reggie Miller (25,279), Jerry West (25,192), Patrick Ewing (24,815) and Allen Iverson (24,368). In passing West with a slam dunk at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter February 1, 2010 at Memphis, finishing the game with 44 points (West’s retired number), Bryant became the leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. In 2008-09, Bryant passed Gary Payton (21,813) and Hall-of-Famers Charles Barkley (23,757), Robert Parish (23,334), Adrian Dantley (23,177), Elgin Baylor (23,149), Clyde Drexler (22,195) and Larry Bird (21,791).


BYNUM RECORDS SECOND CAREER 20-20 GAME
On February 6th at Philadelphia, Andrew Bynum totaled 20 points (8-13 FG) and 20 rebounds, marking his second career 20-point, 20-rebound game (3rd career 20+ rebound game). Bynum’s other 20-20 game came earlier this season on January 3rd, when Bynum totaled 21 points (8-15 FG) and 22 rebounds as the Lakers defeated the Houston Rockets 108-99 at STAPLES Center, becoming the youngest Laker to do so (24 years, 68 days) since Rudy LaRuso tallied 30 points and 21 rebounds on February 26, 1961 at the age of 23 years, 107 days. Bynum’s only other 20+ rebound game came on 4/5/11 vs. Utah, when he grabbed a career-high 23 rebounds. The last Laker to record a 20-20 game prior to Bynum was Pau Gasol, who posted 30 points and 20 rebounds on February 16, 2011 at Cleveland.


DOMINATING THE GLASS, BUT LOSING THE GAME
In the Lakers 95-90 loss at Philadelphia on February 6, the Lakers out-rebounded the 76ers 55-30, marking the first time the Lakers lost despite out-rebounding their opponent by 25-plus rebounds since they out-rebounded New Jersey 55-28 in a 109-103 loss to the Nets at STAPLES Center on 1/28/05. The last time any team lost when out-rebounding their opponent by 25-plus rebounds occurred on 3/11/09 at Detroit, when the Pistons out-rebounded New York 64-39, but fell to the Knicks 116-111.



*Statistical research assistance provided by the Elias Sports Bureau






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