During the last half of the second quarter, the Mavs suddenly could not hold onto the ball, and the Lakers look like a different team. The Lakers are moving well with and without the ball. Kobe started to heat up and the entire team raised their energy level. It should be noted that this run came with Dirk on the bench.
So Dirk did not stay on the bench long. The Mavs rebounded and the teams spent the rest of the quarter taking turns holding the lead. The play slowed down significantly as the refs found their whistles and started to use them with great frequency. There were questionable calls going against both teams as the refs must have been afraid that things were getting too physical. Jason Kidd continues to play Kobe Bryant tough when he is guarding him.
At the half, Dirk leads the team with 15 points at the half. No bad fouls at the end of the half as Lamar Odom launched a long three. The Mavs again weathered the Lakers scoring siege and showed the ability to battle back. It will be interesting to see how the Lakers start the second half. They need to win this game and they have not played poorly, but they have not played well either.