GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT Final
Box Score Dallas Mavericks 27 27 21 23 10 108
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 22 26 28 22 14 112




Kobe-less Lakers hold off Mavs in overtime 112-108

By GREG BEACHAM


Posted Apr 15 2012 3:42PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Andrew Bynum had 23 points and 16 rebounds, Pau Gasol made back-to-back 3-pointers in overtime, and the Los Angeles Lakers won their fourth straight game without Kobe Bryant, 112-108 over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

Ramon Sessions scored 22 points, and Gasol had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who are 4-1 while the NBA's leading scorer rests his bruised shin.

Metta World Peace had 18 points as Los Angeles rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit before finishing off a four-game season sweep of the defending champion Mavericks, who swept the Lakers out of last season's playoffs.

Dirk Nowitzki had 24 points on 9-of-28 shooting and 14 rebounds, but Jason Terry missed a potential tying layup at the rim with 5 seconds left in overtime for the Mavericks, whose three-game winning streak ended. Delonte West scored 20 points, and Terry had 21 before missing a shot while trying to avoid Matt Barnes' defense.

Gasol added two free throws with 0.5 seconds left in the Lakers' fifth straight regular-season win over Dallas.

The Lakers boosted their lead over the Clippers atop the Pacific Division to 1 1/2 games with six to play. The Lakers also have the tiebreaker edge on their next-door rivals.

Dallas nursed a lead down the fourth-quarter stretch before the Lakers made a 14-6 run, taking the lead on Sessions' 3-pointer with 3:24 left. After Dallas tied it at 98 on Terry's jumper with 55 seconds left, Sessions missed an awkward shot with 1.5 seconds to play, and Nowitzki clanged a 3-point attempt off the back rim at the buzzer.

Gasol had hit just five 3-pointers all season, but he gave the lead back to the Lakers on consecutive corner 3's, with Nowitzki's third 3-pointer sandwiched between them. World Peace put the Lakers up 110-106 with a fadeaway jumper with 1:04 to play.

Bynum has been fighting a respiratory infection, and he got off to an 0-for-5 start that matched the Lakers' early effort. Los Angeles missed 10 of its first 12 shots while the Mavericks jumped to an early 10-point lead propelled by West, who scored 16 points in the first half.

In the second half, Bynum returned to the dominant form he showed while getting 30 rebounds and scoring 30 points in consecutive games, a feat last accomplished by Moses Malone in 1982.

During a midgame interview with ABC, Bryant said his shin feels much better, and he intends to return to the Lakers well before the playoffs. Bryant is walking without discomfort, but the 28.1-points-per-game All-Star hasn't played since April 6.

After getting treatment during tipoff, Bryant sat on the Lakers' bench again, shouting instructions and cheering his teammates. Bryant has missed just 100 games in his 16-season NBA career, including the past five.

If Bryant plans to return soon, Los Angeles has just five games remaining, including Tuesday's visit from San Antonio, before the postseason.

NOTES: Lamar Odom is still listed on the Mavericks' roster, but the longtime Lakers forward won't play again this season for Dallas, which acquired him early in training camp after the Lakers' aborted trade for Chris Paul hurt Odom's feelings. ... Dallas' Jason Kidd went 3 for 4 on 3-pointers after going 0 for 8 in Dallas' previous visit to Staples Center this season. ... Mike Brown was back on the Lakers' bench after missing Friday's victory for undisclosed personal reasons.


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

Lakers take on the Dallas Mavericks Sunday, April 15th at Staples Center at 12:30PM. Catch all the action on Fox Sports West, ABC, and 710ESPN.







View More Photos


Points Bynum 23, 9-24
Rebounds Bynum 16, 5 OFF 11 DEF
Assists Barnes 8
Steals 4 tied with 1
Blocks Barnes 1


POSTGAME QUOTES



Mike Brown:

Lakers coach Mike Brown on today’s game:
“That was one heck of a game. It was probably very entertaining for you guys, and for the people at home, and it was entertaining for us because we got the win. I thought our guys did a lot of good things. First thing we did defensively, you know, Dallas is a very good offensive team and they shoot the ball very well, and they spread you out very well, and Rick [Carlisle] does a great job of mixing the sets and playing to the team’s strengths. They hit a lot of threes, they hit threes early on, they hit some shots in transitions because our transition defense wasn’t good. I thought our guys just stayed composed, they still tried to continue to execute at the tempo that we want them to. Nobody ever really panicked or anything like that. It was great to see, especially with the way that they were shooting the basketball. And then our guys, time and time again hit big shots.”

Lakers coach Mike Brown on the team’s performance today:
“You talk about different guys stepping up at different times, we had that offensively. You look down at the stat sheet and you see five guys in double figures in points, and another one very close in Josh [McRoberts] with 8. But, the exciting thing about it is it just didn’t end there with guys scoring points. Pau Gasol had a double-double with 20 and 10, but also 5 assists from your 7-footer. Matt Barnes almost had a triple-double off the bench with 11, 11 and 8. That just talks about the impact he’s had in the game. Sessions had 22 and 5 with 1 turnover. But, I tell you what, Andrew Bynum was a monster today, he was an absolute monster today. I’m not talking about his 23 and 16, I am talking partly about the 16, but he was a monster in the paint today in pick and rolls and lastly, rebounding the basketball. He was unbelievable. I think I enjoyed watching him more today than any other night because of his dominance, or presence, in that lane on both ends of the floor. Every rebound he got, he went and got. They didn’t fall in his hands, this is a very good box out team. He went and got every single rebound that he collected. To have 5 offensive rebounds was huge, and Metta [World Peace’s] 3, that translates into 18 second chance points against this team, which is phenomenal. The last thing that I’d like to say is that part of the composure and tempo that I saw today was us having only 7 turnovers. We turn the ball over, knock on wood, quite often, so for us to only have 7 in an overtime game like this was a big factor in helping us squeak out the win.”

Lakers coach Mike Brown on team’s performance without Kobe Bryant:
“The first thing is we’ve done a better job understanding tempo. Before, when Kobe was playing, with him being on the floor, we started playing a little too fast. He can himself, even though he’s not the point guard, he can subtly effect the tempo of the game by running to the block. When he runs to the block, obviously he’s a pretty dominating factor out on the floor. So our guys are going to try and get him the ball, and when they get him the ball it just kind of brings everything to a stop to a certain degree. Having him on the floor helped us control the pace of the game a lot of times. Without him on the floor, we had to kind of find out how to do that on our own. And it started in the Phoenix game where we didn’t do a good job of that. We got into a rat race of a game with them, and they won the game. But, the great thing about that is that he helped us, we felt like we helped the players and the players helped each other. And we learned from that game in terms of how we can do a better job of controlling the pace when he’s not on the floor. For me that’s probably one of the biggest things we’ve gotten from his absence so far. Then you can go into the confidence factor, you can go into guys stepping up at different parts of the game, doing big things for us, and so on and so forth.”




Pau Gasol:

Lakers’ Pau Gasol on his two 3-pointers in the overtime period:
“The first one, you can’t really practice that shot. I just tried to get it off my hands and it worked out well. The second one was a much better look and much better rhythm and it went in too. Obviously it’s not a shot I take very often, but I have taken a few more this year than I have in my career. I’ve worked on it and it works out sometimes.”

Lakers’ Pau Gasol on how he felt after hitting the two 3-pointers in overtime:
“I’m glad I was able to hit them. Prior to that, I wasn’t shooting the ball well. I’m glad I got it going at that particular time in the game because we needed every basket.”

Lakers’ Pau Gasol on the importance of the win today:
“It’s important to beat every team at this point of the year. This team eliminated us last year and they’re the champs right now. It was a good quality win for us. If we face them again, I don’t know if this 4-0 in the regular season will be worth a whole lot. But we’ll have to start over and take it one game at a time and make sure we play as hard as we’ve been playing lately.”

Lakers’ Pau Gasol on Metta World Peace’s performance the last couple games:
“He’s been aggressive. Just like Andrew and myself, we feel we have to step up in Kobe’s absence. We’re active, aggressive and we’re getting into better rhythms. That’s what he’s been doing.”

Lakers’ Pau Gasol on his thoughts regarding Nowitzki’s poor shooting game:
“He had some looks. Some were well defended, some were wide open and didn’t go in. I think we did a pretty good job as a team covering him.”




Ramon Sessions:

Lakers’ Ramon Sessions on how tonight’s game felt:
“It felt good. It was one for those games where we played really hard and grinded it out. To get the win like that was a great feeling for us.”

Lakers’ Ramon Sessions on Pau Gasol’s back to back 3 pointers:
“That was huge. Big fella can knock down those corner three’s. He practices them a lot. It was one of those things where he had two huge three’s for us that gave us that momentum to get the lead.”

Lakers’ Ramon Sessions on Kobe’s role in today’s game:
That’s Coach Bryant now. He’s like a coach over there. He’s over there helping everybody out and drawing stuff up on the board. He’s pulling for us over on the side and he’s helping us out tremendously.”




Andrew Bynum:

Lakers’ Andrew Bynum on how they were able to come up with the win tonight:
“We had opportunities to win earlier with a stop. We had a bunch of opportunities to win. I missed one of the free throws that would have put us up by three. We just kept on going. We didn’t stop. We didn’t let one mishap keep us from going on to the next play.”

Lakers’ Andrew Bynum on Kobe’s role in today’s game:
“He’s coming up with plays, watching things that are going on and just telling us where they’re coming from.”

Lakers’ Andrew Bynum on his defensive performance:
“Defensively I was trying to contest shots. They made a couple at the top but for the most part we had guys who had air balls and guys get rebounds. Defensively I can be big help to this team and that’s one of my focuses.”




Rick Carlisle:

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle on Andrew Bynum continuing to have big games against them:
“We had him one for eight in the first quarter, that was a good sign. Then as the game wore on we didn’t do as good a job. We have got to do better.”

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle on Andrew Bynum:
“[Andrew] Bynum is a great inside player so he affects the game a lot of different ways. He checks the game when you got a double team, he kicks it out and now brings threes and rebounding on the court.”

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle on Dirk Nowitzki’s game today:
“He had some opportunities that he missed. We have got to get him some better looks. Nine for twenty-eight is not a Dirk Nowitzki night.”

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle on playing the Lakers in the playoffs:
“We’re going day to day here and we’re trying to earn our way in to the playoffs. We’ll worry about matchups later. We have got to be playing our best basketball. We did a lot of really good things today and our shot making wasn’t there the way it needed to be. But, we have got to stay the course. If we get in, then whoever we play we play.”

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle on the Lakers’ offense rebounding:
“Eighteen to nine, it’s a big factor. But, these guys are the best rebounding team in basketball right now and we knew that coming in to the game. We did a good job on the boards last time we played them and this time they got the better of us. We played some smaller lineups today too, which can contribute to the challenges.”




Dirk Nowitzki:

Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki on the loss:
“We fought. You have to give them credit. They made some great plays. They got some lucky bounces especially in overtime. We had our chances I thought in the end of regulation. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen your way.”

Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki on his offensive play tonight:
“Tonight I was more of a volume shooter and that’s not how I want to play. I want to be an efficient scorer. I have some work to do.”

Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki on Metta World Peace:
“He was phenomenal. He’s stepped up since Kobe went out. I think he’s averaging 17 or 18 points since Kobe went down. There are some shots available for him and he’s making the best of the opportunity. We all know he’s a great defender. He’s been doing that his entire career, but offensively he looks like he’s in a good groove. He made a tough pull-up going right to put them up four when I thought we played pretty good defense.”

Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki on allowing 15 offensive rebounds:
“They’re tough. I think they’re number one in the league. They’ve got a bunch of big guys. Gasol is obviously long, Artest is coming every time, and Barnes is a great offensive rebounder, so they’ve got basically four guys coming in there every time. We played some small ball with West, Kidd, and Jet and obviously that’s not a great rebounding lineup.”




Jason Terry:

Mavericks’ Jason Terry on his last drive in overtime:
“I saw a clear lane to the basket. There was some misfortune there not going strong enough to the basket. Barnes did an excellent job of getting out of the way. I thought he was going to try to take a charge or go for a hard foul and he did neither. Give him credit and I’ll take the blame for that one.”

Mavericks’ Jason Terry on what the team needs to do moving forward:
“We need to maintain our level of play right now and get into the playoffs as the sixth seed. Consistently we’re coming out and giving a great effort. We’re fighting on both ends of the floor. Tonight was a big disappointment but you have to get over it quick because we’ve got Utah tomorrow.”

Mavericks’ Jason Terry on the loss:
“We didn’t as a team collectively make enough plays throughout the ball game. Usually when the shot clock is winding down, those balls don’t go in. For some reason or another, this season they have. It was a big game. All of these games have tremendous meaning for us.”






Mavericks-Lakers Preview

By JUSTIN EINHORN


After the Dallas Mavericks swept them out of last year's postseason, the Los Angeles Lakers now could return the favor. Possibly doing it without Kobe Bryant might further build their confidence for a potential playoff rematch.

While coach Mike Brown is expected to return, Bryant's status remains up in the air as the surging Lakers go for a season sweep of the defending NBA champions Sunday at Staples Center.

The offseason trade of Lamar Odom to the Mavericks appeared to further turn the tide against Los Angeles in this rivalry, but that deal was a bust - Dallas says Odom won't play again this season - and the Lakers have won all three meetings.

A Lakers sweep wouldn't be nearly as shocking as the Mavericks needing only four games to oust Los Angeles in the Western Conference semifinals last May. That could have signaled the end of Bryant's Lakers being a true title contender, particularly with them trailing the Clippers in the Pacific Division for much of this season, but they've gone 15-6 since March 8 to regain first place.

That leaves Los Angeles (38-22) as the No. 3 seed in the West, and Dallas (34-26) currently is sixth. If the Mavs and Lakers remain in those spots, they would meet to open the playoffs.

Los Angeles just hopes Bryant is fully healthy by then. He's missed the last four games with a bruised shin but is no longer wearing a protective boot.

The Lakers were blown out by Phoenix in their first game without Bryant but have won the last three, including one at Southeast Division-leading San Antonio.

"When we play hard and when we play well as a team, a lot of good things happen for us," said Pau Gasol, who has a combined 51 points in the last two meetings with Dallas after averaging 12.5 in last year's playoff series.

"With or without Kobe, that's something that's standard for this team."

Gasol's team returned home Friday and defeated Denver 103-97, clinching a playoff spot despite Brown's absence due to personal reasons.

"You can tell that these guys went out tonight and wanted to represent Mike Brown as best they could and that's what they did," said assistant John Kuester, who took over for Brown.

Andrew Bynum scored 30 points, two nights after grabbing 30 rebounds against the Spurs. He's averaging 23.7 points and 13.7 boards over the past six games.

Also stepping up lately are Metta World Peace, averaging 18.0 points over the past five games, and Matt Barnes, who is 17 of 24 from the field in the last three and scored a season-best 24 on Friday.

"With Kobe out, guys need to step up, but at the same time, not do too much," Barnes said. "We're playing good team basketball right now."

So are the Mavericks, who have had at least five double-figure scorers during their current three-game win streak.

No more than three Dallas players reached double digits in any of this season's meetings with Los Angeles, and the Mavs shot a combined 39.3 percent from the field.

"Right now, you just have to pile up 'W's.' I don't care how you get them; you just have to get them," said Shawn Marion, who had 17 points and 14 rebounds in Friday's 97-94 win at Portland.

Marion helped limit Bryant to 29 points on 11-of-37 shooting through the first two meetings - Dallas lost by a combined eight points - but he missed the last one as Bryant scored 30 in the Lakers' easy 109-93 win March 21. If Bryant isn't around this time, that leaves Marion to focus on World Peace or Barnes.


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


4/13/12
W LAL 103, DEN 97
4/11/12
W LAL 98, SAS 84
4/09/12
W LAL 93, NOH 91
4/07/12
L PHX 125, LAL 105
4/06/12
L HOU 112, LAL 107
Probable Starters
Lakers
#15 World Peace SF #0 Marion
#16 Gasol PF #41 Nowitzki
#17 Bynum C #33 Haywood
#3 Ebanks SG #13 West
#7 Sessions PG #2 Kidd



Lakers Kobe Bryant
(tenosynovitis, left shin) is day-to-day.
Andrew Bynum
(sprained left ankle) is probable.
Ramon Sessions
(sprained left shoulder - ac joint) is probable.
Jordan Hill
(sprained MCL, right knee) is questionable.

No Injuries


Game 1: 1/16 - DAL @ LAL W 73-70
Game 2: 2/22 - LAL @ DAL W 96-91
Game 3: 3/21 - LAL @ DAL W 109-93
Game 4: 4/15 - DAL @ LAL


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