The Lakers (43-14) come into the American Airlines Center riding high after Kobe Bryant willed them to a two-point win against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Dallas Mavericks put their four-game win streak on the line as they continue to get acclimated to a new lineup.
Can the Lakers steal a win in a back-to-back or do the Mavericks come out with too much energy?
Game as a Whole:
The "new look" Mavericks must be doomed without their new marquee player in Caron Butler, right? News Flash, the Mavericks gut out a tough win and hold their sixth straight opponent under 100 points (thanks Walter). Has Brendan Haywood proved that he was the key piece the Dallas Mavericks were really looking to acquire in their trade with Washington?
It’s amazing how a trade can shake up a team and get them re-energized at exactly the right moment. A win over the Lakers is a huge confidence boost but there were also a bunch of other bright spots for Dallas. DeShawn Stevenson comes in and plays some excellent defense against Kobe Bryant in the first half. Terry gets his scoring touch back as he nailed clutch basket after clutch basket. The Dallas team as a whole outworks Los Angeles on the offensive glass. Finally, Haywood doesn’t pick up his first foul until the fourth quarter.
When the Mavericks play well they can be scary. They are still working on which point guard will get the bulk of the minutes when Kidd has to go to the bench. The bigger problem is who will the Mavericks sign to backup Haywood as Dampier recovers?
Let's look at the quarters...
- 11:02, Nowitzki comes out and nails his first shot over the outstretched hand of Gasol. Lets see if they start double teaming him early.
- 10:36, Haywood stays down on all of Bynum’s post moves. Don’t try to block Bynum just make him work for every shot he takes.
- 9:35, Haywood handles a fast break pass from Marion that would have surely been bobbled by Erick Dampier.
- 8:31, The referees are calling this game really tight tonight.
- 8:11, Haywood posts Bynum up and drops in the teardrop.
- 7:52, Stevenson is playing some very tight defense on Kobe. Sure, it’s early but the activity has been encouraging.
- 6:06, Stevenson needs to take advantage of Kobe being lax on defense and drive it straight to the basket. Would be great if Bynum picked up some early fouls.
- 5:25, As expected, Gasol and Bynum are doing a lot of work in the paint. The Mavericks aren’t really running any double teams at either of them letting Haywood and Nowitzki try to stop them.
- 3:40, The Lakers give Nowitzki a super easy shot. Gasol doesn’t even follow as Dirk receives the ball from Haywood.
- 2:53, Terry hits the jumper and the Mavericks go up by two. Dallas will need Terry tonight with Butler out.
- 1:40, Terry takes it right up the gut for his second basket.
- :44.7, Kidd gives Farmar a slap on the wrist and it results in a basket plus the foul. Should have forced Farmar to pass the ball.
- Kobe hasn’t made a basket in the quarter. Bynum is more than making up for Kobe’s lack of scoring.
- Kidd airballs a three to end the quarter.
- Beaubois comes in to start the 2nd quarter. It seems like Carlisle wants to get some more quickness on the floor to take advantage of the tired Lakers.
- 11:36, Nowitzki hits the bank shot coming off the screen.
- 11:21, Terry gets a little pay back on Farmar as he exploits the weak side for an easy basket (gets the foul as well).
- 10:52, The Mavericks are being a bit lazy with their passing.
- 10:47, Terry takes the ball hard to the basket again. If only he were this aggressive every game.
- 9:59, Beaubois hits the deck to fight Odom for the lose ball. The refs originally said that it was Odom and Beaubois for the jump but they change it to Farmar versus Beaubois.
- 9:50, Beaubois gets a full extension block on Farmar. Farmar scores on the next play as a screen cuts off Beaubois.
- 9:28, Terry hits a three and he has put the Mavericks on his back this quarter.
- 8:40, Nowitzki with only his second basket of the quarter. The Mavericks are still down four.
- Neither team has gone over the foul limit in the first two quarters.
- 7:30, You can tell that Beaubois’ game is still raw. Running down the court stride for stride right next to Dirk isn’t a good way to spread the floor. He commits a turnover on the same sequence.
- 6:48, Barea comes in and immediately takes a three, which he misses. Barea should be attacking the basket with Butler out tonight.
- 6:21, Two offensive rebounds lead to a Terry three. You have to like when your shortest guy on the court is rebounding the ball.
- 4:20, Barea leaves two shots short at the rim. Dallas could have used those two points.
- 3:32, Dallas is currently taking only tough shots. Ball movement has stagnated a bit.
- 2:15, Dirk snaps a streak of seven Dallas misses. Caron’s scoring is definitely missed.
- Any time you can hold Kobe Bryant to 3 of 11 shooting in a half, you are putting yourself in a position to win.
- 11:44, Nowitzki starts the quarter with a quick basket and a rebound off a Kobe miss.
- 11:18, Marion gets a wide-open dunk due to lazy transition defense by the Lakers.
- 10:39, Two bounces and a bank shot for Haywood. That was a great looking post move.
- 9:45, Slow close out by Kidd leads to a Fisher three. Wasn’t bad defense just a split second late.
- 8:49, Nowitzki strips Gasol on the way up. Pau looks to the refs for the foul but there isn’t one coming.
- 8:10, Kidd drills his third three of the game. Kobe Bryant has hit three consecutive baskets.
- 7:06, Possible game turning point, clear path foul on Stevenson.
- 7:02, Stevenson picks up another foul in less than four second. That gives Stevenson 3 for the game.
- 6:12, Bryant gets backed down by Marion for the score. Marion now has to guard Kobe.
- 5:27, Marion gets fouled by Artest on the lay up. Is this Marion’s quarter?
- 4:05, Wanted: Good center willing travel and cleans glass. Please send all inquiries to the Dallas Mavericks.
- 3:52, Lakers get their first offensive rebound since the first quarter. You can thank Haywood for that.
- 3:01, Jason Terry brings his total to 21 with a timely three.
- 1:37, Kobe Bryant botches a pass and Marion almost blows a lay up on the fast break. Neither team can seem to pull away.
- :20.6, Najera didn’t expect Kobe Bryant to step out of the way and give him a look at the basket. Needless to say, he botches the lay up.
- Buzzer beater three for Jason Kidd gives Dallas a two-point lead. This would be a fun playoff series to watch.
- Kobe sits down for the start of the fourth quarter. Let’s see how long that stays the case.
- First two possessions for the Lakers have been turnovers. The Mavericks are being extremely active on the defensive end.
- Haywood doesn’t have a foul yet. He has achieved the "not picking up any stupid fouls" portion of his game.
- 10:46, Bynum has to foul Haywood as he forces the issue on a dunk attempt.
- 9:41, Kobe has to come back in as the Lakers are already three fouls deep with nine minutes to go.
- 9:11, Nowitzki picks up a shooting foul and pushes the Lakers further into foul trouble.
- 8:03, Bynum picks up the travel on what he thinks was a foul.
- 6:41, Dirk hits the tough jumper over Fisher.
- Dallas has been really good about picking their spots to foul the Lakers.
- 5:52, Kobe commits what has to be the worst foul of the game. Gives Nowitzki an "and 1" as the shot clock was about to run out.
- 5:20, Terry notches his fourth three of the night to put Dallas up by 6.
- 4:16, Haywood shows super hard on a pick with Kobe but actually gets back to alter Gasol’s jumper.
- 3:17, Give Nowitzki 29 points as Odom can only watch the ball hit the bottom of the net.
- 2:39, Odom is really upset on the last offensive rebound that Haywood pulls down.
- 2:21, The Lakers have given up. Need Kobe to bail them out if they have any hope. The Mavericks need two more scores to put the game away.
- 1:41, Jason Terry pushes the Maverick lead back up to eight.
- 1:25, Kidd needs to manage the game as the Lakers look to make a run.
- :23.7, Refs go to the replay to determine the Mavericks get the ball with the shot-clock off.
- :15.9, Terry has iced the game with two free throws. Mavericks up 5.
Some Choice Statistics:
- Nowitzki currently shooting 96% from the line this season in clutch situations (4th Quarter & Overtime). Thanks DOH
- Kobe’s worst shooting night this season was a 2 of 11 night against the Charlotte Bobcats.
- DeShawn Stevenson has only averaged about 8.1 points per game for his career.
Dallas gets the win without Butler due to some pretty stellar team defense and clutch offense from Terry/Nowitzki. Rick Carlisle said something that should strike a chord with every Dallas fan "These games are practice for us". You don’t want to see these Mavericks in the playoffs.