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3 observations after the Dallas Mavericks fall in overtime to the Los Angeles Lakers, 107-104

Back to .500 again

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Los Angeles Lakers in overtime Wednesday night, 107-104. Lebron James paced the Lakers with 24 points. Jalen Brunson led Dallas in defeat with 25 points and nine assists.

The Mavericks found themselves outgunned by the Lakers hot three point shooting in the opening quarter and down double digits after the first frame. But a huge 15-0 run in the second quarter pulled the Mavericks back from the brink. The Mavericks managed to grind the Lakers down, despite terrible three point shooting. Only a late three from Lebron James to end the half kept things close with the Mavericks up 50-47.

Los Angeles threatened to rally back and run away with things, particularly after Lebron James decided to be mean and hit a three pointer near the logo. But Dallas buckled down and tied things up heading into the final period. The Mavericks built up a seven point lead twice, but were unable to hold the line as the Lakers roared back each time. Dallas retook the lead on a Porzingis dunk out of a timeout around the three minute mark held onto the lead until Wayne Ellington hit a three with two seconds remaining to tie the game and send it to overtime.

Overtime was a wild back and forth affair featuring lead changes, prayer threes from Russell Westbrook and Tim Hardaway Jr., a bank shot three from Maxi Kleber, and a dagger game winner three from rookie Austin Reaves. The Mavericks fall 107-104

Now, some thoughts:

Jason Kidd continues the long Maverick head coach tradition of not fouling up three

The Mavericks had a foul to give at the end of regulation. I’ll say that again, the Dallas Mavericks had a foul to give at the end of regulation. Dallas had a few chances to foul the Lakers with LeBron heaving a three with nine seconds left. Perhaps they didn’t want to give Los Angeles time to draw up a play? The ensuing scramble following Porzingis and Kleber fighting over the ball wasn’t a good time to foul... I don’t think? But giving up a three at the end of a game where you’re up three just feels very dumb. It’s happened once this season already but my tired brain can’t recall when. And it happened many times under Rick Carlisle.

Dallas shot terribly from three, but had a real chance to win

Positivity isn't my default mode, but Dallas shot below 20% for most of this game only to climb up to 27% on the back of some overtime prayers. A few less mistakes and they might’ve stolen this one.

The threes will fall at some point. Right? Right?

Kristaps Porzingis is capable of playing amazing basketball but he’s got to be more consistent

Entering the fourth quarter, Porzingis had a rough shooting line, just 4-of-15 from the floor for 14 points. The broadcast crew noted how quiet he’d been statistically (he’d played good defense and rebounded well, it must be said). Then he started with a nice open 15 footer from the right wing.

Then following a Laker miss, the ball advanced to Jalen Brunson who found Porzingis on a cut to the basket near the free throw line. Porzingis then passed the ball behind his back and found Dorian Finney-Smith in the far corner who drove past a defender for a lay in. After a Tim Hardaway steal, Porzingis hit a trailing three to give the Mavericks a 80-73 lead. It was the full display of skills from the Dallas big man, with that pass being my personal favorite part of the sequence.

He’s going to need to find more efficiency though. He was 8-of-23 from the field while connecting on four-of-five inside the lane. Do the math and you’ll see he was a rough 4-of-18 everywhere else including 1-of-6 on threes. I believe they’ll fall eventually. Until then he’s got to keep taking them and finding easier ways to score. The Lakers switched small on him and he did not make them pay.

Here’s our latest episode of Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you’re unable to see the embed below, click here to be taken to the podcast directly. Or go to your favorite podcast app and search Mavs Moneyball Podcast.