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FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Mavericks – Game 33

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (13-20) | Dallas Mavericks (18-16)


The Lake Show failed to deliver on Christmas day and lost their fourth game in a row to the Dallas Mavericks 124-115


Lakers vs Mavericks
Photo Credit: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Anthony Davis suffered a stress injury in his right foot and will be out indefinitely, while Juan Toscano was also still inactive.

The Lakers’ starters against Dallas were Dennis Schroder, Patrick Beverley, Lonnie Walker IV, LeBron James, and Thomas Bryant. James started his NBA-record 17th Christmas day game at Dallas.

Walker IV kicked off the festivities with a three. He’s been great all year and has been one of the Lake Show’s best deep shooters this season at 39.4%.

Christmas Bron was different, as James bullied a small Mavs lineup early with four buckets in the paint totaling eight points, as LA got off to a 17-6 lead. The Lakers were doubling Luka Doncic (0 shots attempted), and the Mavs support players weren’t making them pay just yet.

Even with 4:32 remaining in the first quarter, Doncic still hadn’t taken a shot. He finally got it going as he drove by Russell Westbrook and went straight at Wenyen Gabriel for a score inside. The other Maverick players were shooting a combined 2-9 from three, but Doncic casually stepped back for a three over Max Christie, who was playing some soft defense.

The Lake Show was up 23-11 when the king had subbed out, but when he returned, the lead he built up shrunk to just four points. At the end of the first quarter, the score read, Lakers 28, Mavericks 21. The purple and gold were doing their job early, holding the Mavs to 36.8% from the field. 

Some excellent ball movement from the Lake Show resulted in an open three for Troy Brown Jr., which we’ve begun to see a lot more of from this squad, and it’s always a sight for sore eyes. It’s hopeful to think that those are the type of plays that’ll fix this season for the Lakers.

The Lake Show defense must’ve fazed Doncic as he clanked both of his free throw attempts. But it was only a matter of time until the Mavericks were going to start making their shots, and Tim Hardaway Jr. did so with a three, cutting the lead to six points at 41-35 with 3:55 left in the first half.

It also didn’t help that the Lakers were squandering their defensive efforts by shooting poorly from three, as they were 2-12 (16.7%), with James at 0-2. However, they scored from everywhere else as Bron, Walker IV, and Westbrook went on a quick 10-2 run to secure a 14-point lead.


LA took a 54-43 lead into halftime, led by King James, who totaled 18 points. Dallas converted just 5 of 22 threes, and LA smothered Doncic, often with double-teams, holding him to just 10 points.


Lakers vs Mavericks
Photo Credit: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Heading into the second half, the Mavericks finally started to make their shots, as they went on a 12-4 run featuring four three-pointers, trimming the Laker lead to three points. They figured out how to handle the Lake Show’s defensive schemes, so Darvin Ham needed to make some adjustments.

The Mavericks took their first lead of the game after Doncic drove right past Westbrook into the paint, attracting all of the attention and kicking out to Hardaway Jr. for a three. Dallas didn’t stop there, as after a questionable technical was called on Westbrook, the Lake Show found themselves down 76-65 with 4:04 left in the third quarter.

At the end of the third quarter, the Lake Show had dug themselves into a bottomless hole, as they were down 94-75. The Mavericks dropped 51 points in the third, the most points in a single quarter by any NBA team this season and a franchise high for Dallas. All the while, the Lakers scored just 21 points.

The Mavericks just started to make shots, and the Lakers were left chasing for the entirety of the quarter. As we headed into the fourth quarter, Austin Reaves showed some hope by hitting a three on the first possession, which was the beginning of a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 10 points.

However, Dallas would recover and go back and forth with the Lake Show to hold a 111-98 lead with six minutes remaining. With James on the bench, Westbrook would keep them within striking distance with a three from the corner. Despite that, Ham didn’t deploy a big man on the court, with Reaves being the tallest at 6’5, and Christian Wood took advantage for an easy score inside.

Reaves nearly took Doncic out of the game with a charge call, but it was overturned as clearly, Jason Kidd did not want to lose his best player and challenged the call. If the call had stood, Reaves probably would’ve sparked a late-game comeback for the Lake Show. The kid has an outstanding basketball I.Q. and could be reminiscent of the epic Manu Ginobili.

With less than three minutes remaining, James was promptly subbed out, along with Doncic, as this one was effectively over. It was just one dreadful quarter that did the Lake Show in. The final score read, Mavericks 124, Lakers 115


Key Takeaways


Lakers vs Mavericks
Photo Credit: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

King James dropped 38 points, six rebounds, and five assists, but it wasn’t enough for the win as LA fell apart in the third quarter again. He was also an atrocious 0-4 from three. No other starter for the Lakers scored in double-digits. Russ totaled 17 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Reaves had 16 points on 5-7 overall. Westbrook was also a team-worst -30.

Doncic was held in check for the first half but ended up with 32 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists. He was just one foul away from being fouled out. Wood quietly had a huge night with 30 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, four steals, and two blocks. Hardaway Jr. was crucial for Dallas, putting up 26 points on 6-14 from three. 

The Mavericks had only made five threes by halftime but ended the game with 18 threes on 44 attempts (40.9%), probably the most prominent reason for the Lake Show’s defeat, as they shot just 9-28 from three (32.1%). Dallas had also outrebounded the Lakers 38-35, with 11 being offensive boards. The Lake Show is now 1-4 since AD went down.


The Lakers will now travel to Orlando, Florida, to take on the Orlando Magic. They’ll face off on Tuesday, December 27th, at 4:00 p.m. PT at the Amway Center. The game will be available on Bally Sports Florida, NBA League Pass, and Spectrum SportsNet.

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– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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