Recap: Lakers avenge season-opening loss by routing Mavs at home
Earl K. Sneed recaps the last matchup of the Dallas Mavericks' three-game homestand, as Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers avenged their season-opening home defeat on Saturday night by handing the Mavs their most lopsided loss of the season.
Recap: Lakers 115 at Mavericks 89
Lakers avenge season-opening loss by routing Mavs at home
DALLAS — Although both the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers came into the 2012-13 season with lofty aspirations, neither entered Saturday night’s showdown with sustained success as the two prepared to face off for a second time.
However, looking to replicate a 99-91 season-opening win in Los Angeles on Oct. 30, the Mavericks stepped onto their home floor at the American Airlines Center hoping to build off their impressive 114-111 win over New York three nights prior. And before hitting the road for two games in Philadelphia and Chicago, the Mavs tried to bring their three-game homestand to a victorious close.
The Lakers (7-7) had other things in mind.
Getting retribution for their loss to start the season, the Lakers routed the Mavericks (7-7) on their home floor. And instead of closing out their homestand with another benchmark win, the Mavs suffered their most lopsided loss of the young season after a 115-89 defeat.
“Tonight, it was disgusting. It’s disappointing for our fans what kind of game that was,” big man Elton Brand said of the loss. “We know how bad they wanted this game. We should have wanted it as bad as they wanted it and we didn’t come with it tonight.”
“It’s a much more desperate team,” 2-guard O.J. Mayo said of the Lakers after the L.A. team ended a four-game road losing streak to claim its first win away from home. “Obviously they’re not off to the start that they would like to be off to, and one below .500, with the competitors that they have on the inside of the locker room, they’re gonna come out and want to play well. They remember Opening Night with us setting the tone for the season and hey, they came out throwing punches and we really never recovered.”
Hoping to duplicate the success from the victory in L.A. on Opening Night, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle went back to the starting five of point guard Darren Collison, Mayo, small forward Shawn Marion, Brand and center Brandan Wright. It was the same starting five that began the season.
“I wanted to get Wright involved. I like the way he played the last time we played these guys and I didn’t want [Chris] Kaman guarding [Dwight] Howard to start the game. But, you know, the starting lineup is down the list of issues in this game,” the coach later confessed.
But even with Wright making the most of the opportunity and draining back-to-back jumpers to get the Mavs off to a quick start, the home team had no answer early on for Lakers forward Metta World Peace, who began the game with L.A.’s first 10 points.
And behind World Peace’s 16 first-quarter points, the Lakers jumped out to a quick double-digit lead of as much as 16 on the Dallas team before taking a 36-23 advantage into the second stanza.
After the NBA’s leading scorer deferred to his teammates in the first 12 minutes of action, Kobe Bryant began to go to work in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the Mavs’ offense continued to sputter due to turnovers and poor shooting, contributing to the spreading separation between the two squads on the scoreboard.
Bryant’s 3-pointer with 1.8 ticks left in the second then launched the Lakers into the midway intermission with a 65-38 lead.
With both teams committing 10 turnovers through two quarters, the Mavs’ 38.1 percent shooting at halftime paled in comparison to L.A.’s 58.5 percent at the other end. Meanwhile, the trio of World Peace, Bryant and ex-Maverick Antawn Jamison combined for 42 points in the first half, outscoring the Mavericks’ entire team.
“I thought it started at the defensive end,” Carlisle explained. “There were a lot of blow-bys early in the game. There were 11 in the first half at least, and those lead to easy scores and them being able to set their defense. And they were really locked in tonight.”
Again in need of a spark, Carlisle adjusted his lineup once more to start the second half with Kaman replacing Wright at center in the first unit. Still, the Mavs wouldn’t be able to crack into their deficit, however, as Bryant continued to set a commanding tone for his team while helping the Lakers go ahead by as much as 37.
And although eight-time All-Star Vince Carter (1,529) moved into 16th place on the NBA’s all-time list for made 3-pointers in the period while connecting on three triples in the third, the Mavs entered the final quarter looking up to an 89-65 disadvantage.
“When you play against a good team like that, that’s a deep hole you have to be trying to dig yourself out of,” the sixth man said as he tried to rally his team. “They moved the ball well. They have a lot of guys who can score, so we put ourselves in a predicament. I don’t care who is doing what, I know we weren’t in the game. We didn’t give ourselves a chance to win.”
With Bryant resting on the bench, the Mavs continued to try to make the final score look respectable. But after back-to-back jumpers by World Peace and Jodie Meeks put the Mavs in a 105-74 hole with 5:17 remaining, Carlisle was forced to call his final timeout of the night.
The coach then called off his troops before finishing the rest of the night with his reserves.
Playing in his 1,000th career game, Carter led the Mavericks with 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting and 4-of-7 from 3-point range off the bench. Rookie Jae Crowder did most of his damage late in the game, adding 15 points in a reserve role while Mayo pitched in 13 points and Marion registered 10 points in the first unit.
Meanwhile, Bryant, Jamison and World Peace all finished with 19 points to lead six Lakers in double figures, as L.A. outshot Dallas on the night, 48.8 percent to 37 percent. Jamison also registered a double-double with 15 boards, lifting the Lakers to a 61-39 rebounding margin to go along with a 50-36 advantage in points in the paint.
“I mean, they were in a desperate mode and they played a great game and we were very poor. So, credit them and we all own this one,” Carlisle said while summing up the night.
He added: “Defensively, we’ve gotta get better and we’ve gotta get tougher.”
And despite forcing 19 turnovers by the Lakers, the Mavs also gave up 22 points on their own 15 giveaways.
“Let’s keep it real. Don’t sit here and beat around the bush. They whooped our [tails] tonight. It’s that simple,” forward Shawn Marion said of the loss. “Ain’t much you can put on it. We’ve gotta come in here and go to work tomorrow.”
“Hey, man, it’s a bad one and we wish we could get it back, but we’ve gotta throw it away and obviously take another small look at it tomorrow but get ready for our road trip,” Mayo added.
The Mavs will now return to the practice court before heading out on the road for a back-to-back, touching down in Philadelphia for a battle against the 76ers on Tuesday night. The game will air locally at 6 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest and nationally on NBA TV.