Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 107-97 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night at American Airlines Center:
1. SECOND HALF MELTDOWN: I saw it and still can’t believe I saw it. After a brilliant first half when they scored 67 points, the Mavs managed just 30 points in the second half. The Mavs were 25-of-43 from the field for 58.1 percent, 6-of-11 from 3-point land and blocked six shots. But in the second the Mavs were just 11-of-43 from the field for 25.6 percent, and 2-of-19 from behind the 3-point line, and also blocked two shots. In fact, the Mavs scored more points in the first quarter (33) and second quarter (34) than they scored in the entire second half (30).
2. NOT A LOT OF ASSISTS: For whatever reasons, the ball wasn’t hopping around the perimeter like it does on most nights. And usually that spells trouble. On Monday, the lack of ball movement translated into the Mavs distributing a season-low 12 assists. That’s the same amount of assists J. J. Barea got by himself during a 128-108 win at Houston on Nov. 28. After looking efficient while collecting 10 assists on 25 first-half baskets, the Mavs looked out of sorts while collecting just two assists on only 11 field goals in the second half.
3. FAST BREAK POINTS: Going into the game the Mavs were very leery of the Lakers’ abilities to get out and force the action by upping the tempo. And that’s precisely what happened. In the end, the Lakers outscored the Mavs on fast break points, 34-5. A lot of those points came because of the 19 turnovers the Mavs committed. And a lot of them came when there was a long rebound after a missed Mavs’ shot, and the one Mavs player left back couldn’t retrieve that rebound, and it led to a breakaway dunk. Or when that player got back on defense and were caught in a one-on-two situation.
4. JORDAN COLLECTS REBOUNDS: Board work-wise, where would the Mavs be if not for the rebounding of DeAndre Jordan? Against the Lakers, Jordan finished the game with 19 rebounds. It’s the 18th time this season Jordan has grabbed at least 15 rebounds in a game. And it’s the ninth time he’s collected at least 19 rebounds in a game. Jordan also has 20 or more rebounds in six games this season. Overall, Jordan has been so dominant on the boards that he has 35 double-digit rebound games this season. And he has 25 double-doubles this season.
5. DONCIC SHINES: Even while the Mavs were not playing their basketball of the season in the second half Monday, Luka Doncic was doing his best to keep them afloat. I don’t have enough space to explain all that happened in the second half, but the Mavs only scored 30 points after halftime. And Doncic tallied 15 of those points. The Mavs were just 11-of-43 from the field in the second half. And Doncic was 6-of-13 from the floor during that same time frame. In all, Doncic scored a game-high 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds.