Final: Mavs 90, Lakers 82
Box Score | Highlights
Behind the Box Score
The Mavs recorded a season-high 20 deflections against the Lakers. It’s an unofficial stat, but one the coaching staff loves to keep track of. Deflections reflect defensive intensity and activity, and the more you can get, the better. Dallas’ previous season-high total was 14.
Dallas won a bit of an ugly third quarter, 16-15, to extend an 8-point halftime lead to 64-55. The Lakers only made five shots in the frame and the Mavs were able to force six turnovers. Anytime you can force that many mistakes in one quarter, it’s a huge victory for the defense.
The Mavs initially fell behind 19-9 mid-way through the first quarter, but after a Rick Carlisle timeout Dallas closed the quarter on a 20-5 run to take a lead into the second frame. As they always say, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Opening a quarter on a big run is great, but closing is more important.
Dallas defenders drew three charges in the game. The Mavs, and in particular Devin Harris, have done a very good job this season of getting squared and in front of the offensive player, especially in the open floor. Trying to draw a charge is a risky play because it can very easily turn into a blocking foul if the offensive player anticipates what’s going to happen. But the Mavs guards have been terrific with their timing so far.
There was a nice little moment in the first half. Dirk Nowitzki posted up Kobe Bryant and spun over his right shoulder then pump-faked. Bryant bought the fake and jumped to contest the shot, and Dirk slipped underneath him and laid it in. On the way back down to the other end, both players were smiling. We might not get too many more chances to see these guys share the floor, so moments like these are ones you should treasure. That’s what makes the NBA what it is, and those are two legends of the sport.
The Mavs (5-4) play the Houston Rockets (4-4) Saturday at the Toyota Center. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. Central.