Lakers final score against Mavericks: LA fails in double overtime

The Lakers fought back from a dominating start in Dallas to force overtime, but ultimately they just didn’t have enough to beat Luka Dončić and the Mavericks, losing 119-115. Luka led all scorers with 35 points.

LeBron James led the charge for LA with 24 points, 15 rebounds and 9 assists, and Russell Westbrook was in form as the sixth man of the year with 28 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists leading the bench unit. But despite positive offensive performances from the Lakers stars, the team poorly defended the perimeter allowing Dallas to shoot 33% from three and give up too many points on turnovers (18) to overcome their poor start.

The loss is LA’s fourth straight loss against Dallas, keeping the Lakers (19-23) in 12th place in the Western Conference standings.

Darvin Ham’s strategy of containing Luka and letting the shooters shoot didn’t work early on as Dallas scored 36 points, shooting 61% from the field. It wasn’t just Luka’s show for Dallas; they had three players tied at nine points in the period. The Lakers got nothing from anyone, just five points off the starting group, and Russ led the way with eight points off the bench.

LA fought back in the second, cutting the lead to just four thanks to Christie executing shooters off the 3-point line, Russ attacking the basket and Bron warming up and scoring seven points in the quarter. However, halfway through the frame, Luka blasted in and closed the half securing an 11-point advantage for the Mavs.

In the third, it became clear that the best player on the pitch was Luka. He was hitting three, scoring through double teams and just making spectacular offensive plays. LA simply had no defensive scheme that could slow him down and no offense to keep up with his production.

Down by a half-dozen at home, the Lakers did what they always did under Darvin Ham: they fought. Russ and Kendrick Nunn hit back-to-back baskets, reducing the deficit to one. LA took their first lead since the first minute of the game halfway through the last frame, and from there the pace was blistering on both sides. Lots of transition plays, fouls and turnovers as Dallas tried not to choke and Los Angeles tried to steal one from the Mavs.

In the end, the Lakers offense got production from everyone on the court in the final minutes and took the lead with eleven seconds left. However, it was too long for Luka, who hit a three-way draw to send the game to OT after a missed winner from Troy Brown that featured plenty of contact, but no call.

Free basketball is always a good thing and we got a double dose of that on Thursday night. LeBron missed shots but had back-to-back free throws to give LA the lead in the closing minutes of the first OT, but Luka responded again with a three to tie the game. LeBron had one last attempt to win and appeared to be mauled at the rim, but no call was made and we headed into second overtime.

Going into the second OT, fatigue started to set in for both teams. More fouls, more masonry shots and fewer baskets. LeBron (0-7 of three on the night in 47 minutes) had nothing left and missed all three field goal attempts he took, and Spencer Dinwiddie (17 points, 7-13 shooting) made a pair of baskets to give the Mavericks a two-lead of possession. This time Dallas kept it for good and finally did what we all thought they would do when they started the night off with a bang: beat the Lakers.

Key points to remember

It was a tough loss, but if there is a moral victory for a team that needs all the real wins they can get right now, this has to be it. The Lakers never folded and pushed Dallas, a team that went to the Western Conference Finals last season, to the absolute limit. Yes, it was a loss and even moral victories this late may be moot, but you have LA to thank for their efforts tonight.

The Lakers will have a well-deserved rest after a long night, as they don’t have another game until Sunday. And they’ll need all the free time they can get because on Sunday they face the Sixers, another team with a good record and a superstar player in Joel Embiid.

Hopefully they can avoid double overtime in this one – and maybe even pick up a win.

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