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FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Mavericks – Game 71 – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (34-37) | Dallas Mavericks (36-35)


The Los Angeles Lakers have now lost two in a row after losing to the Dallas Mavericks 111-110

The Lakers vs Mavericks took place in Los Angeles Friday night.

Lakers vs Mavericks LeBron James and Mo Bamba
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

With Luka Doncic sidelined, Maxi Kleber silenced the Los Angeles Lakers crowd with his only 3-pointer of the night, drilling the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer on a crosscourt pass from Kyrie Irving.

I never had a shot like that before,” said Kleber, who scored six of his 10 points (2-for-4 FGs, 1-for-3 3s, 5-for-6 FTs) in the final 7.2 seconds.

Like Indiana all over again,” Darvin Ham said.

Kleber hit three free throws after Anthony Davis fouled him on a 3-point attempt, and Davis made just one of two free throws for Los Angeles with 6.7 seconds left. The Dallas Mavericks got the ball to Irving, who drew a double-team and found Kleber for an open 3-pointer over Davis just before the horn.

The Lakers vs Mavericks was a key game for the Lakers playoff hopes. 

Kleber was just 14-of-24 at the free throw line coming into this game (58.3%).

The Lakers vs Mavericks start of the first half. 

Lakers vs Mavericks Austin Reaves
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

When he passed it, I knew I had to just quick-fire it,” Kleber said. “It was a pretty amazing feeling. Once I let it go, I saw the ball in the air, and I was like, ‘Oh, damn, it has a chance to go in.’ All of a sudden, it went in, and the next thing I knew, the whole team was running at me. It was a pretty cool experience.”

Knowing Ky, he wanted to go for the win,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “With the double team, he had to give the ball up. That’s just trust with his teammates, and Maxi was at the right place at the right time.”

Irving scored 13 of his 38 points (14-for-23 FGs, 5-for-9 3s, 5-for-5 FTs) in the fourth quarter of his return from a three-game injury absence.

Despite the sour ending, Davis still produced 26 points (9-for-14 FGs, 8-for-11 FTs), ten rebounds, and three assists. 

We fought hard to get back into the game, so that’s a tough one,” said Davis. “You’ve got to be able to win basketball games, whether it’s at the free throw line or me making the right read defensively.”

Davis also made a handful of enormous last-minute mistakes for the Lakers, who missed 12 of their 31 free throw attempts and couldn’t make a field goal in the final 3:16. Los Angeles led by four points and had the ball with less than 20 seconds to play, but still lost for the third time in four games.

We make our free throws, and we’re probably not having this conversation,” Lakers coach Ham said.

Austin Reaves again made some tremendous contributions off the bench, totaling 16 points (5-for-8 FGs, 6-for-9 FTs) and five rebounds. Dennis Schroder was also a reserve, with 15 points (7-for-13 FGs), three rebounds, and five assists. Rui Hachimura had 10 points (4-for-6 FGs, 2-for-2 3s) and two steals.

Los Angeles overcame a nine-point deficit to begin the fourth quarter but couldn’t seal the deal without LeBron James. James sat out his 10th straight game since the Lakers’ defeat of Dallas last month, and the Lakers also fell to 5-5 without the NBA’s career scoring leader.

The Lakers vs Mavericks end of the first half. 

I know. I can’t say too much,” Schroder said on James’ return timeline. “But German doctors are great. That’s all I’m saying.

The Lakers vs Mavericks start of the second half. 

Lakers vs Mavericks
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

They’re intense, and they’re going well,” Ham said of James’ workouts. “Everything is going according to plan.” James is set to be re-evaluated on March 23.

The Mavericks came into this game third in the NBA in 3-point attempts per game. The Lakers’ perimeter defense was eviscerated as Dallas shot 47.1 percent (16-for-34) from deep. Dallas also outscored the Lakers 33-21 in the second quarter.

However, the Lakers made a big push in the third to trim a 14-point deficit to one when Reaves missed a technical FT that would have tied the game. But Dallas scored the final eight points of the quarter, including back-to-back 3’s, to make it 89-80. 

Dallas closed the quarter on an 8-0 run after the Lakers had pulled within one point twice. The Lakers needed to find ways to get Davis more involved offensively.

A heartbreaking loss for the Lakers, Kleber’s game-winning 3 gave Los Angeles its third loss in four games. They’re now 34-37 and dropped from 9th to 10th in the Western Conference. Up next, the Orlando Magic.

It’s tough all across the board,” Davis said.

The Lakers vs Mavericks’ final score was 110-110, Dallas. 

The Lakers now take on the Orlando Magic Sunday, March 19th, at 6:30 p.m. PT. The game is on NBA League Pass, Bally Sports Florida, and Spectrum SportsNet.


– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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