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FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Mavericks – Game 42

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (19-23) | Dallas Mavericks (24-19)


The Lake Show is now on a two-game losing streak after failing to close the Dallas Mavericks out twice, losing 119-115


Lakers vs Mavericks
Photo Credit: Jae C. Hong/AP

Russell Westbrook said he dislocated his right pinky finger in the first half against Denver. He told reporters that the X-rays were negative and that he popped it back into place twice. Patrick Beverley missed practice with a non-COVID illness, although the good news is that his hip is no longer bothering him. However, Beverley was kept out against Dallas due to the non-COVID illness. To counter that lousy news, Troy Brown Jr. was made available.

The rookie Max Christie received his second straight start against Dallas, joining Dennis Schroder, Juan Toscano-Anderson, LeBron James, and Thomas Bryant.

James, in his return, bullied his way for the first Laker basket of the game. Then, a touch pass from James to TB for a dunk. Despite that, at the first timeout, the Lakers were trailing the Mavs 13-6. The Lakers were shooting 0-6 from beyond the arc so far. Cole Swider got abused defensively as he came in, and the Mavs immediately put him in ball screen action for a three.

At the end of the first quarter, the score read Mavericks 36, Lakers 22. Dallas closed the quarter on a 30-16 run after the game was tied 6-6. However, Russ remained a force to be reckoned with in the second, as this time he went through Davis Bertans, and LA whittled Dallas’ lead down to eight.

Luka Doncic seemed shaken up after trying to defend James, as the king just shrugged him off. It didn’t look like a big hit, and Doncic may have just got ahead of himself by trying to stop James’ drive. You’ve got to give credit to anyone willing to get in the king’s way.

Toscano-Anderson blew a floater, but Bryant was there to hustle for the offensive rebound and score the second-chance points. Doncic left Westbrook wide open, and he drilled a three, erupting the Crypt once the ball flew into the net. 

Christie had been playing good minutes with solid defense, but Tim Hardaway Jr. and Doncic made some tough shots, re-extending Dallas’ lead to nine points at 55-46 with 2:45 left in the first half.

Doncic took another hit, this time from Westbrook, as the latter inadvertently swung his arm mid-air and smacked the former on the side of his forehead. It didn’t look that bad either, though Doncic begged otherwise as he was bending over, holding his face.


At halftime, the score read Mavericks 59, Lakers 48. LA made a run, but Doncic took over that first half, totaling 18 points, six rebounds, and five assists.


Lakers vs Mavericks
Photo Credit: Jae C. Hong/AP

Entering the second half, Bryant started hot, scoring back-to-back buckets. However, it didn’t mean much as the Lakers couldn’t get a stop defensively, giving up a dunk and a three to Hardaway Jr., resulting in a 9-4 run for the Mavericks to open the third quarter.

The Lake Show countered nicely with a 5-0 run of their own, but Spencer Dinwiddie, who was upset with the referees all game, drilled a corner three to end the drought quickly. King James was still going to get his, though, as he took on four Maverick defenders in transition for another fastbreak score.

Back-to-back no calls for both teams took Hardaway and James out of play since both were complaining to different refs, but that allowed the teenager Christie to score back-to-back buckets. All LA had to do to win this one was step up defensively, as even with that 5-0 run by Christie alone, the Lakers were still down 77-68 with 4:27 left in the third quarter.

Westbrook showed a spark of life on defense as he jumped a pass intended for Doncic but couldn’t turn it into any points. To make matters worse, Kendrick Nunn reverted to his early season form, as he air-balled a three. 

Wenyen Gabriel turned up defensively as well, as he chased down Jaden Hardy on the break and blocked the latter’s layup off the glass in a similar fashion to fellow teammate James. The Lakers trimmed three points off the halftime deficit, outscoring the Mavericks 28-23 in the third quarter, and trailed 82-76 as they headed into the fourth quarter. The free throw line hurt LA so far, as they made just 11 of 18; they were also cold from three, at 5-23.

The Lake Show began the fourth quarter with momentum, pushing out to a 5-0 run, featuring a three-pointer from Nunn. Dallas countered with a 4-0 run of their own, but Nunn drilled another three to cut Dallas’ lead to two points.

Westbrook tied the game as he took advantage of a mismatch with Frank Ntilikina on him and rocked the baby afterward. LA finally took their first lead of the game since starting 2-0, after one made free throw from Nunn. However, it didn’t last long as Christian Wood drilled a three to retake the lead at 89-87 with 6:26 remaining in regulation.

In typical LA fashion, they lost control of the game as their defense couldn’t hold up, giving up another scoring run of 6-2 to Dallas. A pivotal moment of the night was when James stripped the ball from Wood as the latter was coming down with a rebound. The referees called a foul on James, and the king was irate, pretty much forcing Ham to challenge the play. It was successful, but it only switched the foul from James to Bryant, as TB was holding Wood’s arm throughout the whole ordeal.

The Lake Show’s defense finally showed up when it mattered, as they forced the shot clock violation. This time, they converted the turnover into points as Westbrook clutched up and drilled a contested corner three. Gabriel matched Russ with a three of his own to tie the game at 97-97, and Hardaway sold in crunch time as he got an offensive foul. Schroder took the lead through chaos, as Wood hit the floor after he got kneed in the ribs by Gabriel, which the refs blatantly missed, which enabled Schroder to get a free layup.

Controversyshowed up late in the game, as LA had the lead and tried to play keep-away with 20 seconds remaining. Westbrook ended up with the ball and got it back to Schroder, Dallas fouled  Westbrook, but the refs had the foul go to Schroder, meaning the latter would shoot free throws. Though nobody touched Schroder, it would be overturned to Westbrook.

Westbrook would come through, drilling both free throws to secure a three-point lead for the Lake Show at 101-98. However, the Lakers opted not to double Doncic, head-scratching as they did that the whole game, and Doncic knotted up the score as he drained a stepback three over Schroder.

It was the Lake Show’s turn, but of course, the Mavericks doubled James, forcing him to give it up to Brown, who took the final shot but air-balled. It looked like Hardaway may have fouled him, but it wasn’t ruled otherwise.

In overtime, Gabriel came up clutch with an offensive rebound, along with converting the and-1. Westbrook somehow lost his cool and dipped his shoulder into Doncic, causing a scuffle. However, both were seen hashing it out peacefully, which was absolutely weird from Russ. That earned him a flagrant one foul and rewarded the Mavericks with two free throws, along with possession afterward. 

Doncic didn’t make Russ pay for it, though, as he missed both free throws, leaving the game deadlocked at 103-103 with less than 2:30 remaining. Dinwiddie had enough, and he took advantage of a mismatch with Gabriel as he blew by and threw down a one-handed jam. Gabriel got his payback on Dinwiddie with an and-1 finish.

Doncic pulled off some more magic as he hit another three from the top of the key to tie the game. The Lakers would get another chance to win the game and were ready this time, as James had possession. The king had a golden opportunity when Doncic switched onto him but opted to drive into a sea of bodies and was rejected by Wood.

Heading into the second overtime, Dinwiddie kicked it off with another emphatic dunk. Somehow he had so much energy left. Brown made up for his blunder earlier in the game as he scored in transition, but after the score, Westbrook somehow lost control again, as he shoved Doncic, and both fell to the floor. 

Westbrook got away with another possible flagrant and made up for it by making a three. He tried to be the hero once more but was rejected at the rim by Wood. The latter landed wrong and tweaked his ankle. He remained in the game and fought through the pain. Wood’s adrenaline kept him feeling spry as he blocked another shot inside. This time it was James.

Brown sold again as he was called for an offensive foul, though Hardaway may have flopped his way through that. With 31.1 seconds remaining, the Lake Show found themselves down 118-115. However, once again, LA failed to close the game out and fell to the Mavericks 119-115.


Key Takeaways


Lakers vs Mavericks
Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Lakers dropped to 19-23. James finished with 24 points on a questionable 9-28 FGs and 0-7 from three, 16 rebounds, and nine assists. Westbrook had 28 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Gabriel was crucial for LA, totaling 14 points on 6-8 FGs, along with seven rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.

Doncic erupted for a triple-double, 35 points, 14 rebounds, and 13 assists. Wood was massive for Dallas down the stretch, finishing with 24 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, and five blocks. Hardaway Jr. stepped up with 22 points and eight rebounds. Dinwiddie had 17 points on 7-13 FGs.

Ham told reporters after the game that he’s “kicking myself in the butt” for not blitzing Doncic on the final possession of regulation. He also said they didn’t want to foul, though he trusted the defenders he had out there. But if you think about it, they would have afforded it, as they were up by three. It wasn’t a guarantee that Doncic would make both either, as later on, he would miss two free throws in overtime.


The Lakers will now take on the Philadelphia 76ers. They’ll face off on Sunday, January 15th, at 6:30 p.m. PT at the Arena. The game will be available on NBA TV, NBC Sports Philadelphia, and Spectrum SportsNet.

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– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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