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Game 77: Mavs at Lakers presented-by-bbva-2 Subscribe via RSS

Mavericks vs. Lakers

Brandan Wright was perfect from the floor and Dirk Nowitzki passed Dominique on the NBA’s all-time scoring list as the Mavs swept the regular-season series vs. the Lakers for the first time in franchise history Friday night.

LOS ANGELES — Just 24 hours after celebrating a much-needed victory over the Los Angeles Clippers to begin their current four-game road trip, the Dallas Mavericks returned to Staples Center to complete their final back-to-back of the season.

Looking to sweep the season series against the L.A. Lakers Friday night for the first time in franchise history, the Mavericks tried to build on Thursday’s 113-107 win over the arena’s co-tenants. The Mavs also attempt to further cement their playoff positioning, entering the night with sole possession of the seventh spot in the Western Conference standings.

And with 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki moving up one more spot on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, the Mavericks (46-31) easily sprinted to 2-0 on their road trip after sweeping the Lakers (25-51) with a 107-95 victory.

“You know, I said last night that a win against the Clippers doesn’t mean anything if we loss today, and I thought that’s how we came out,” Nowitzki said of the win. “We got the early lead. And when we establish ourselves early and come ready to play, I always like our chances at home or on the road.”

Hoping to play through tired legs while completing their 16th and final back-to-back of the season, the Mavericks looked to jump out to a quick start. But the upstart Lakers would hold their own, leaning on sharpshooter Jodie Meeks in the early minutes of the opening quarter.

The Mavs countered by looking in the direction of Nowitzki, who entered the night needing 18 points to pass Dominique Wilkins (26,668) for 11th place on the league’s all-time scoring list. However, after taking a double-digit lead with a 12-0 run, the Mavs found themselves with just a 27-23 edge after 12 minutes of play.

With Nowitzki still on the attack, the Mavs tried to create a separation in the scoreboard as the second stanza got underway. The 7-footer then handed the scoring responsibilities over to four-time All-Star forward Shawn Marion, who quickly joined Nowitzki in double figures.

But the Lakers would stay within an arm’s reach behind the play of their bench before tying the game at 42-all on Meeks’ steal and transition score. The two teams then exchanged the lead before Nowitzki sunk a free throw with 2:32 left in the half to move into a tie with Wilkins.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s been a crazy ride. I used to be a big fan of Dominique,” Nowitzki later said of the accolade. “I watched all of his dunk contests and the many ways he could score, sometimes missing his own shot and beating the person (to the rebound) to dunk over two people. He was just so much fun to watch, and it’s been surreal. It’s been a crazy ride for 16 years, and I’m going to keep competing for a couple of years.”

Still, even despite Nowitzki’s 17 first-half points, the Mavericks trailed 54-52 at the midway mark.

Led by Meeks’ 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, the Lakers grabbed the lead through two quarters while connecting on 48.8 percent as a team from the field compared to the Mavs’ 45.8 percent. Meanwhile, Nowitzki did his best to keep the Mavs afloat by connecting on 7-of-10 shooting through 24 minutes of action.

Sinking two more free throws with 8:47 left in the third period, Nowitzki quickly moved into sole possession of 11th place in the scoring ranks. Meanwhile, Mavs center Samuel Dalembert provided his team with a presence inside. And with Nowitzki providing a barrage of scoring to close the quarter, the Mavs took an 82-78 lead into the final period.

“I thought Dalembert was the key player of the game in the third quarter,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “He gave us great energy and activity, he had six or eight points in a short period of time when we were struggling and he had a big rebounding night, too.

“We needed juice, playing back-to-back after an emotional game last night, and it was a struggle most of the way. Then, in the third quarter we got a little juice going … and we were able to finish the game.”

Following a jumper from Nowitzki to open the fourth, backup big man Brandan Wright began to make his presence felt. Wright’s array of above-the-rim finishes then sparked a 16-2 Dallas run to gain full control. And after the lead peaked at 15, the Mavs put the finishing touches on their first season series sweep of the Lakers in franchise history down the stretch.

Hitting 11 of 14 from the field, Nowitzki led five Mavericks in double figures with 27 points to go along with nine rebounds. Wright also connected on 10 of 10 from the field, scoring a season-high 23 points and setting a high for the Mavs for most makes in a game this season without a miss.

“You know, no one wants to miss shots,” a modest Wright said while downplaying his night. “I want to make them all, but to have a night like this is a credit to my teammates, putting me in a good position. I can’t do anything but praise those guys.”

“Wright played really well,” Carlisle said with high praise for the big man, “and we had a lot of guys that played well. Ten for 10 is a big night, and we needed it.”

Marion added 15 points and eight rebounds while Dalembert scored 14 points and collected 14 rebounds to record a double-double. Point guard Jose Calderon also added 11 points in the first unit.

Meeks led four Lakers in double figures with 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting, but the Mavs’ 47.8 percent from the field bettered L.A.’s 42.2 percent. The Mavs also added a 52-38 rebounding advantage and a season-high 64 points in the paint to overcome the 20 points they allowed off 17 turnovers.

“I thought we had lolls in the first half tonight, which maybe was a little bit of a carryover from last night. But, in the second half, we really picked it up,” Carlisle concluded. “We just had real good collective will and togetherness, and the guys knew this was a hard game. … Nowitzki was great, and we just had a lot of guys who followed suit.”

Note: The Mavericks will now make the third stop on their four-game road trip, playing the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. Dallas leads the season series 2-1. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 5 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center next Thursday, April 10, to host the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio leads the season series 3-0. The game will air nationally on TNT at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting

Dallas Mavericks
Shawn Marion, F307-141-30-035811031-115
Dirk Nowitzki, F3311-141-24-5369500212327
Samuel Dalembert, C216-90-02-24101401101714
Monta Ellis, G343-130-02-203391031128
Jose Calderon, G284-112-81-103320013311
Vince Carter150-80-20-010130134-80
Devin Harris233-81-30-00117203277
Brandan Wright2610-100-03-323511212523
Jae Crowder200-30-32-225701001102
Wayne Ellington50-20-00-00110100120
DeJuan Blair00-00-00-00000000000
Bernard James00-00-00-00000000000
Shane Larkin00-00-00-00000000000
Ricky Ledo00-00-00-00000000000
Gal Mekel00-00-00-00000000000
44-925-2114-1515375228841617 107
Los Angeles Lakers
Kent Bazemore, F364-110-55-512320013-813
Ryan Kelly, F141-60-21-201142013-53
Jordan Hill, C315-100-04-6461011213-914
Jodie Meeks, G4010-174-101-104422022-925
Kendall Marshall, G294-91-50-002282111-59
Wesley Johnson313-130-20-1381123220-56
Robert Sacre161-60-05-622400011-37
Steve Nash182-30-00-001170040-74
Nick Young195-82-42-302200021-914
MarShon Brooks00-00-00-00000000000
Kobe Bryant00-00-00-00000000000
Jordan Farmar00-00-00-00000000000
Pau Gasol00-00-00-00000000000
Xavier Henry00-00-00-00000000000
Chris Kaman00-00-00-00000000000
35-837-2818-24102838261051514 95

Brandan Wright Perfect 10/10

Brandan Wright goes for a perfect 10/10 from the field as he scores 23 points in the win over the Lakers Friday night.


Dirk Rises in NBA All-Time Scoring

Dirk Nowitzki hits the free throw to pass Dominique Wilkins for 11th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.


Game 77: Mavs at Lakers

[mavs_video id="29802"]


Lob Party

Devin Harris drives and lobs the alley-oop to Brandan Wright.

LOS ANGELES — One night after taking down one of the Western Conference’s upper-echelon teams on the road, the Dallas Mavericks will look for the same result Friday on the Staples Center floor.

Hoping to build on Thursday’s 113-107 win over the Los Angeles Clippers to avoid the season series sweep, the Mavericks (45-31) will try to keep surging up the West standings while continuing their four-game road trip. And after avenging three losses this season by holding off the Clippers late to move into sole possession of the seventh spot in the three-team race for the final two playoff positions, the Mavs will now attempt to put a stranglehold on securing a postseason berth.

“It’s really important because of the race to make the playoffs. I think it’s even more important on our minds that we can beat a good team like the Clippers,” Mavs point guard Jose Calderon said after Thursday’s win. “It’s been three tough ones for us, losing the three games like we lost to them, so we were coming into this game like this is not only about winning and making the playoffs. It’s about making a little statement to say, ‘OK, we can beat this team.’ It’s a great win for us.”

“I’m glad we survived,” 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki added after handing the Clippers just their sixth home loss this season. “It’s definitely a big win for us against a very good team, against a team that we hadn’t beaten this year and against a team that hasn’t lost much on their home floor. “

Playing their next three games on the trip against teams with the three worst records in the West, the Mavericks will undoubtedly have an opportunity to carry the momentum of Thursday’s win forward. However, the Mavs must focus their attention on claiming their first season series sweep of the L.A. Lakers in franchise history.

Downing the injury-riddled Lakers by at least 19 points in each of the two previous matchups between the teams this season, the Mavs hope to have an equally dominant display Friday while concluding the 16th and final back-to-back on the schedule. However, even despite the Lakers’ 25-50 record to sit with 50 losses for the first time since the 1974-75 campaign, the Mavericks know they can’t afford to overlook their opponent if they hope to continue trending upward.

“You know, every game on this road trip is tough, because we’ve got a lot of teams we don’t match up well with,” four-time All-Star forward Shawn Marion explained. “Regardless of their records, we’re still going to have battles out there. Just because a team doesn’t have a winning record, they still are capable of beating you. We’ve got to understand that, and we know there is no overlooking anybody. We’ve got to go out here and get ready for this game.”

Note: The Mavericks will now conclude their final back-to-back of the regular season, playing the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. Dallas leads the season series 2-0. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 9:30 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center next Thursday, April 10, to host the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio leads the season series 3-0. The game will air nationally on TNT at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting