The Lakers arrived at the American Airlines Arena, following a brutal loss to Houston just the prior evening. They were hungry. They were playing the team that ousted them in the playoffs last season on their way to a title. Pardon me, the team that SWEPT them in the second round on their way to a title. Kobe ( 30 points) knows that. Pau Gasol (27 points, 9 rebounds) recognizes that. Even with their dear friend and former teammate Lamar Odom now donning the white, blue and shade of green, the Lakser see red – and they take it to them.
It was as if the Mavericks, aside from Dirk (26 points, 10 boards) and Jason Terry (23 points), didn’t even exist last night. Beaubois misfired on all cylinders. Odom, again, was a non-factor. Jason Kidd finished with 2 assists. There was absolutely no flow to their offensive game while the Lakers ran them out of their own building. The Lakers put up 25 assists to the Mavs 15. 46 rebounds to the Mavs 29. 58% shooting to the Mavs 43%. They came out strong with a 2 point lead after the 1st quarter. Then the Lakers continued playing and the Mavs thought the game had ended. 30-15, Lakers in the second quarter – heading into halftime with a 13 point lead, on the road, where they have been atrocious. But not last night. Everyone thought, including myself, the Mavs had turned the corner. On their way to securing a first round home court series. Tonight proved otherwise. Ramon Sessions outplayed every guard on the Dallas roster, and he’s only been with the Lakers for 5 days. He put up 17 points and 9 assists, off the bench, on 7-8 shooting. This guys struggles to shoot 40% on the season and he is just getting used to wearing the purple and gold, yet he continuously got in the lane and generated wide open looks for his teammates, which in turn set himself up for some easy looks.
The Mavs travel to San Antonio and then to Houston for a back-to-back Friday and Saturday. The good thing is that the travel is
quite light, considering they are all within the Texas triangle. The bad news is the San Antonio is looking fierce and Houston just beat a Lakers team that demolished you in your own house. We’ll see if the Mavs can respond to an embarrassing home loss and improve on the road.