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4 things we learned from the Mavs' 90-82 slugfest win over the Lakers

Neither offense could do anything tonight, but the Mavs managed to pull out a win at home.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
This game wasn't exactly fun, but hey, a win is a win. Probably this game will be remembered more as one of the last Kobe vs. Dirk games. And while Dirk had a forgettable night (especially as compared to one of his all-time great performances that he turned in against the Clippers), Kobe had a pretty vintage night, at least for a 37-year-old in his 20th NBA season coming off an Achilles injury.

So a low-scoring, hard-fought win against the largely inept Lakers isn't really anything to write home about, but there were a few interesting things we learned tonight.

The Dallas offense is still a work in progress

Look. Both teams were just awful offensively tonight. Neither team shot better than 35% from the field. But you expect a little more from a Rick Carlisle team with this many weapons. I can't count how many easy layups were blown by the Mavs tonight. And the three point shooting?! 25.9% is just embarrassingly bad.

Ultimately, it probably wasn't as bad as it seemed. There were a lot of possessions with some great movement and passing that ended in a blown layup or just an unlucky miss. And to be fair, Deron Williams is a vital to the offense running smoothly, and this was easily the worst game of his Mavs career.

It feels weird to only score 90 after the offensive brilliance Dallas displayed against the Clippers. This team is still figuring itself out. But hey, Dallas found a way to win, and that's what matters.

I love Zaza Pachulia

The dude with the huge head was everywhere tonight. And by everywhere, I mean at the free throw line. Zaza got to the line constantly tonight, hitting 8 of his 11 free throws.

18 points and 16 rebounds. It just kinda felt like Zaza was involved in all the fun parts of this game. My favorite part was when he did his best ballerina impression in throwing in the perfectly posed hook shot while being fouled to draw the and-1.

(Obligatory Dwight Powell reference - Powell also registered a double-double tonight, and is maybe learning a lot from the surprisingly fun and hard-working Zaza)

Kobe Bryant made the most of (maybe) his final game at the AAC

It became clear very early on that Kobe was going to have a good night. Turns out he had maybe the best game of the season so far. Other than when he was guarded by Wes Matthews, Kobe pretty much did whatever he wanted tonight. He looked like Kobe again. 19 points isn't really comparable to that 62-point game back in the day, but the old guy looked damn good tonight.

Hey, did everyone know that Kobe has the most points ever in the AAC by a non-Mav player? Yeah, I guess he's pretty good at the basketball.

But in my opinion, Dirk had the last laugh:

Wes Matthews really is Iron Man

So 8 points on 2-11 shooting isn't great. But Wes was huge in this game anyway. He was the only person who could stop Kobe tonight, and he had a few possessions where his one-on-one defense against #3 on the all-time NBA scoring list was just insane. Dude came into this season with a reputation for being a defensive stopper, but he might actually be underrated.

He was also just hustling his ass off tonight. Almost too much. There were a couple of scary moments in this game. the first came when Julius Randle fouled Wes out of bounds, driving him into the Dallas bench. The second came a bit later, when Wes went down on an offensive possession after driving into the lane. He stayed down longer than any of us were comfortable with, but he apparently just had the wind knocked out of him. He got back up, and then had some of his better possessions guarding Kobe.

My point is, the dude works insanely hard, and as much as we're all worried about his health, he seems to be pretty damn durable for a guy coming off the worst possible injury a basketball player can suffer. I love him. You should too.

Mavs are 2-1 so far on their 4-in-5-nights. They finish it off tomorrow against Houston.