Game 59 Recap: Mavs vs Lakers

Image Credit: @MavsPR Twitter

On Saturday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Los Angeles Lakers at the American Airlines Center to continue the “mini” two game series. This is arguably the most important game for the Mavericks as they are now in sole possession of the sixth seed in the western conference standings, thanks to the Portland Trail Blazers losing their game. The Mavericks now control their destiny as the sixth seed is theirs to lose. This is a huge game for the Mavericks that they must win.

On Thursday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Los Angeles Lakers in the first of a two game “mini” series at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks started this game on a roll as the Lakers looked completely lost that resulted in the Mavericks grabbing a 62-51 halftime lead. The Lakers would storm right back as the Lakers were able to grab a third quarter lead but the Mavericks bounce back to pull away from the Lakers to grab a 115-110 win. Luka Doncic finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists in the huge win. The Lakers relied on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as he provided them with 29 points but it wasn’t enough for a win. Anthony Davis would make his return to the court from his injury but was put on a minutes restriction and finished with only 4 points in 17 minutes. The Mavericks also got production from Kristaps Porzingis as he gave the Mavericks 19 points and 6 rebounds before his missed the majority of the second half with an ankle injury. With the win, the Mavericks record improved to 32-26 on the season, as they now won two straight games and pull within 0.5 game from the Portland Trail Blazers for the crucial sixth seed in the western conference standings. The Mavericks would learn that they are now (currently) in sole possession of the sixth seed coming into this game as the Portland Trail Blazers lost their game against the Memphis Grizzlies thus giving the Mavericks the edge (and control) of the sixth seed. The Mavericks, now, control their own destiny as they now have the “key” to the sixth seed and it would be up to them to come home and use those “keys” to unlock the door for the sixth seed. The Mavericks must finish with 0.5 game (or more) ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers because the Trail Blazers own the tiebreaker over the Mavericks.

The Los Angeles Lakers are coming into this game by going 4-6 in their last 10 games. They are recently coming off a 115-110 loss against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday to see their record drop to 35-24 on the season. The Lakers are coming into this season with heavy hopes of trying to make another deep playoff run to defend their championship. The Lakers are currently fifth in the western conference standings and only 2.5 games ahead of the Dallas Mavericks. This team is led by LeBron James as they look to make another appearance in the NBA Finals. If their current trend continues continues, they would be in real trouble at potentially playing in the “Play-In Tournament” if they don’t pick up some wins during the late part of the season.

Coming into this game, the Mavericks won their last meeting with the Lakers 115-110. This is a huge matchup as the winner of this game would claim the season series and the most important tiebreaker, in case these two teams end up with the same records at the end of the season. The Mavericks previously lost their regular season series last season 3-1 against the Lakers. Overall, the Lakers hold the all-time series with a record of 114-49.

The Mavericks started this game by having Kristaps Porzingis (left ankle sprain), Josh Richardson (right hamstring tightness) and Tyrell Terry (personal reasons) miss this game, while Maxi Kleber (low back contusion) will be available. The Mavericks are 95-91 all-time with Luka Doncic in the starting lineup and 55-41 when Kristaps Porzingis has played since being a member of the Mavericks. The Mavericks are 23-16 this season when Porzingis is in the lineup and 42-23 when BOTH Doncic and Porzingis play since they became a duo. As a result, the Mavericks went with Doncic, Powell, Hardaway Jr, Finney-Smith and Kleber as their starting five in this game. The Mavericks, with this exact same lineup, went 4-0 last season, this will be the first time the Mavericks used this lineup this season. The first points in the game would belong to Ben McLemore as he nailed a three pointer for the Lakers to get this game underway. The Mavericks wouldn’t get their first points until the 0:00 mark as Dorian Finney-Smith drilled a jump shot to come within 3-2 of the Lakers. The Mavericks would grab their first lead in the game after Dwight Powell nailed a layup to take a 4-3 lead with 10:54 left in the quarter. The Lakers would call a timeout with 9:24 left in the quarter after the Mavericks extended their lead to 8-3 with Dwight Powell knocking down a jump shot. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the game by making three of their first four attempts while the Lakers were slow as they only made one of their first six attempts taken thus far. The Mavericks were able to generate a 8-3 run to begin the game and grab control of the lead thus far. The Mavericks offense started to click right out of the gate while the Lakers were still trying to find a way to settle in the game. You couldn’t of asked the Mavericks to get off to a better start than this as it looked very similar to game one of this “mini” two game series. Coming out of the timeout, the Lakers turned to Anthony Davis as he was able to convert on an offensive rebound and nail a jump shot to come within 8-5 of the Mavericks with 9:07 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to seven points after Luka Doncic nailed a jump shot to take a 12-5 lead with 8:18 left in the quarter. The Lakers were able to trim their deficit to two points after Kyle Kuzma drilled a three pointer to come within 15-13 of the Mavericks with 6:15 left in the quarter. The Lakers would come all the way back to take the lead after Talen Horton-Tucker drilled a jump shot to take a 18-17 lead with 4:33 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Lakers were able to maintain control of the lead and take a 26-23 lead into the second quarter. The game leading scorer after one quarter of play would belong to Ben McLemore as he scored 12 points for the Lakers. The Mavericks were led by Tim Hardaway Jr, Dwight Powell and Willie Cauley-Stein as they all scored 4 points. This finally looked like the game that was expected as both teams were playing hard with tremendous amount of effort in every possession. At the end of the first quarter, the Mavericks were shooting 50% on 9-of-18 shooting from the field.

The second quarter would begin by having Luka Doncic nail a crazy floating jump shot for the Mavericks to get this quarter underway. The Lakers wouldn’t get their first points in the quarter until the 10:30 mark as Dennis Schroder nailed a two pointer to extend their lead to 28-25. The game would find its way to slow down after both teams decided to play the “foul-game” by drawing fouls to get to the free-throw line. The Mavericks would come within two points after Willie Cauley-Stein knocked down two free-throws to come within 32-30 of the Lakers with 8:57 left in the quarter. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 7:56 left in the quarter after the Lakers were leading 34-30. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks offense had some troubles with putting the ball in the hoop as they opened the quarter by making just two of their first seven attempts while the Lakers had a average start by opening the quarter by making three of their first seven attempts taken thus far. The Lakers were able to generate a 4-2 run to maintain control of the lead thus far. The Mavericks offense better find its way to get some shots to go down before the Lakers offense wakes up and takes over the game. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Dwight Powell but couldn’t convert as he lost the ball out of bounds that kept the score at 34-30 with 7:41 left in the quarter. The Lakers were able to extend their lead to six points after Markieff Morris nailed a slam dunk to take a 36-30 lead with 7:03 left in the quarter. The quarter belonged to the Lakers thus far as the Mavericks offense couldn’t get anything to go down. A technical foul would be called on Luka Doncic as he was arguing with the Officials but Ben McLemore missed the Technical foul free-throw that kept the score at 36-32 with 5:45 left in the quarter. Luka Doncic better be careful because he’s getting closer to the “Technical Foul Limit” which you start to be suspended once you pass the limit. The Lakers would extend their lead to eight points after Andre Drummond nailed a “hook shot” to take a 40-32 lead with 5:18 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were simply nonexistent as they were in a huge offensive slump by not getting shots to go down until Dorian Finney-Smith knocked down a three pointer to come within 42-35 of the Lakers with 4:39 left in the quarter. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 4:01 left in the quarter as the Lakers were able to extend their lead to 46-36. Prior to this timeout, the Lakers were simply dominating and playing with tremendous amount of confidence as it seemed like they were getting points after every possession. The Mavericks offense was somewhere in Dallas but not in the American Airlines Center as they were struggling massively with nearly every shot refusing to go down. The Lakers were able to generate a 10-4 run to maintain control of the game thus far. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned the ball over on the “out-of-bounds play”, that kept the score at 46-36 with 3:55 left in the quarter, to give you an idea of how sloppy the Mavericks were playing. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Lakers were able to maintain control of the lead and take a 58-46 lead into halftime. The game leading scorer after two quarters of play would belong to Anthony Davis, Dennis Schroder and Ben McLemore as they all scored 12 points for the Lakers. The Mavericks were led by Dorian Finney-Smith as he scored 11 points. This quarter was filled with Lakers, Lakers, Lakers and more Lakers as the Mavericks were playing tremendously sloppy. At the end of the first half, the Mavericks were shooting 39.5% on 15-of-38 shooting from the field. Unless, the Mavericks solve their offensive woes, the game would reach “blowout territory” for the Lakers.

Coming out of the half, the Mavericks were able to get on the board first in the third quarter by having Luka Doncic nail two free-throws to come within 58-48 of the Lakers. Ben McLemore was able to score the first points in the quarter for the Lakers as he nailed a three pointer with 11:22 left in the quarter to extend their lead to 61-48. Both teams would go on a scoring drought of more than a minute until Dwight Powell nailed a jump shot while being fouled and converted the “AND-ONE” free-throw to come within 62-53 of the Lakers with 9:40 left in the quarter. The Lakers would call a timeout with 8:32 left in the quarter as the Mavericks offense started generate some rhythm by cutting the Lakers lead to 65-58. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making four of their first eight attempts while the Lakers opened by making just two of their first six attempts taken thus far. The Mavericks were able to generate a 12-7 run to begin the quarter for them to have a chance at erasing the Lakers lead. The Mavericks desperately needed this type of start in order to keep themselves in the game, otherwise it would’ve been an easy blowout for the Lakers. Coming out of the timeout, the Lakers turned to Anthony Davis but couldn’t convert as he missed a jump shot that kept the score at 65-58 with 8:21 left in the quarter. The quarter would find its way to slow down with both teams (again) going a scoring drought until Dorian Finney-Smith drilled a three pointer to come within 65-61 of the Lakers with 6:57 left in the quarter. All of a sudden, the Mavericks have some type of life as they somehow found a way to cut their deficit to four points. Double technical fouls would be called on Andre Drummond and Dorian Finney-Smith as they got into a mini scuffle with 6:24 left quarter with the Lakers leading 68-63. The Mavericks were able to trim their deficit to two points after Dorian Finney-Smith knocked down a three pointer to come within 70-68 of the Lakers with 4:00 minutes left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to comeback and tie the game at 79-79 into the fourth quarter. The game leading scorer after three quarters of play would belong to Dorian Finney-Smith as he scored 19 points for the Mavericks. The Lakers were led by Ben McLemore as he scored 18 points. The quarter belonged to the Mavericks as they desperately needed to dominate in this quarter to give themselves a chance at winning this game. After three quarters of play, the Mavericks were shooting 46.6% on 27-of-58 shooting from the field. The Mavericks out-scored the Lakers 33-21 to get this game tied into the fourth quarter. The Mavericks still needed to play good basketball on both ends of the court in the final 12:00 minutes of the game if they wanted to leave the arena with a victory. This game would come down to the final 12:00 minutes of the game to determine the winner and the season series clincher.

The fourth quarter would begin by having at Talen Horton-Tucker nail a slam for the Lakers to get this quarter underway. The Mavericks weren’t able to get their first points in the quarter until the 9:10 mark by having Nicolo Meli knock down a free-throw to come within 81-80 of the Lakers. Both teams had tremendous amount of trouble of putting the ball through the hoop as it took nearly three minutes for either team to get a basket to go down. The game would find its way to be tied again after JJ Redick knocked down a three pointer to tie the game at 83-83 with 8:26 left in the game. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 7:44 left in the game after the Lakers were able to grab a 87-83 lead. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks offense struggled to open the quarter as they only made one of their first five attempts while the Lakers had a much better start by making four of their first seven attempts to begin the quarter thus far. The Lakers were able to generate a 8-4 run to grab control of the lead and the game thus far. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned the ball over on a Luka Doncic bad pass that kept the score at 87-83 with 7:22 left in the game. The game would find its way to be tied (again) after Dwight Powell knocked down a layup to tie the game at 87-87 with 6:15 left in the game. The Lakers would call a timeout with 5:41 left in the game after the Mavericks took a 89-87 lead. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were able to get their offense going by getting some good quality shots to go down. The Mavericks were able to generate a 6-0 run (all points coming from Dwight Powell) to grab control of the lead. The Lakers offense started to slow down as the shots weren’t falling down thus allowing the Mavericks to generate some momentum to grab control of the lead. This game looked like it would come down to the final minutes of the game as it was a back-and-forth quarter. Coming out of the timeout, the Lakers turned to Kyle Kuzma but couldn’t convert as he missed a three pointer that kept the score at 89-87 with 5:32 left in the game. The Lakers would call a timeout with 4:07 left in the game with the Mavericks leading 93-89. Name this quarter, the “Dwight Powell Quarter” as he was generating all the Mavericks points in the quarter thus far. The Mavericks were able to generate a 10-2 run to maintain control of the game thus far. Coming out of the timeout, the Lakers turned to Anthony Davis as he was able to draw a foul to go to the free-throw line, where he would nail two free-throws to come within 93-91 of the Mavericks with 4:02 left in the game. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to seven points after JJ Redick knocked down a HUGE three pointer to extend their lead to 98-91 with 3:00 minutes left in the game. The Mavericks started to run away from the Lakers after Luka Doncic knocked down a long three pointer to extend their lead to 101-91 with 2:17 left in the game. All of a sudden, all the momentum would belong to the Mavericks as they were able to generate some momentum on offense by getting good quality possessions that resulted in some HUGE points to maintain control of the game. The potential game-sealing bucket would come from Dwight Powell as he knocked down a “finger-roll” layup to extend their lead to 101-93 with 1:06 left in the game. Boy, the Mavericks desperately needed to create something on offense and they were able to do just that as it resulted in them taking the lead from the Lakers. The Lakers offense was somewhere in “LA-LA Land” as it was nonexistent for the last three minutes of the quarter. The Mavericks looked like they were on their way to a come-from-behind win.

This team looked like horrible as the Mavericks couldn’t get anything to go down as the Lakers were playing like the Lakers we’ve been accustomed to seeing by taking a 58-46 lead at halftime. The Lakers were playing like they wanted revenge on the Mavericks and unless the Mavericks could get their offense to click, this game would belong to the Lakers.

In the end, it was the Dallas Mavericks defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 103-98 to clinch the season series 2-1. The Mavericks record would improve to 33-26 on the season to maintain control of the sixth seed in the western conference standings. Luka Doncic finished the game with 18 points and 13 assists in the clinching series win. The Lakers were led by Ben McLemore as he finished with 20 points. The Mavericks were able to get a HUGE production from Dwight Powell as he finished with a season-high 25 points and 9 rebounds. The Mavericks were able to storm back from being down 19 points to generate this HUGE WIN. With the win, the Mavericks are now within 1.5 games behind the Lakers for the fifth seed in the western conference standings as they have now won THREE STRAIGHT GAMES. The Mavericks finished their five game home stand by going 2-3.

The Mavericks will get on a plane to Sacramento as they will play the Sacramento Kings on Monday to finish the month of April on a three game road trip.

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