OG Triple Double Mavs Recap — 1/7/18 vs. L.A. Lakers

The ghost of Chandler Parsons must dwell at American Airlines. Because tonight’s loss was BAD for the Dallas Mavericks (18–22). The Mavs played their first game at home after a back-to-back on the road that saw them earn back-to-back losses. 10 of their last 12 games, prior to tonight’s match-up, the Mavs played on the road. Enjoying a night off and at home (sleeping in their own beds, getting fresh cuts from their barbers, etc.), the Mavs were expected to give the fans a good showing tonight against the young L.A. Lakers (22–19).

Despite having zero wins in the new calendar year, and playing their second game of a road back-to-back, The Lakers were hell-bent on spoiling any momentum the Mavs were planning on producing. Before tonight’s tip-off, LeBron James missed the last six games for the Lakers with a groin injury, resulting in the team grasping one victory in their last six tries. However, the struggling Lakers squad has been determined to prove they can win, even with LeBron sidelined.

Needing to start the game fast, Dallas opened up with an 11–3 run. Scoring was balanced as Luka Doncic, Dennis Smith, Jr. and Harrison Barnes all scored 7 points or better in the first quarter. But a combination of sloppy Mavs play, missed shots, and energetic play-making from Lonzo Ball allowed the Lakers to hang close.

The Mavs’ second unit, led by J.J. Barea, who scored 11 points, outplayed the Lakers’ second unit and increased the Mavs lead. Once back in the action, Doncic and Smith, Jr. attacked the basket and earned tough, hardnosed, deep-in-the-paint field goals. If the Mavs, weren’t finishing at the hoop, they were earning fouls and getting to the line. The Mavs out-attempted L.A. from the free-throw line in the first half, 16 FTAs — 9 FTAs.

However, a true tale of two halves, the Lakers played with an intensity to start the second half that the Mavs were never able to overcome. The Lakers started the third quarter with an 11–3 run, tightening the score, 74–73. Michael Beasley also provided an offensive jolt off the bench for the Lakers. With a little over a minute left in the third quarter, L.A. tied the game; at the end of the quarter, L.A. was up six points, 86–80.

The fourth quarter did not prove to change the Mavs’ game trajectory. The Mavs’ defense was visibly slower than the cutters the Lakers were dispatching. Dallas’ turnovers and overall sloppy play plagued every Maverick comeback attempt, and the Lakers never relinquished its lead.

Brandon Ingram took over for the Lakers in the second half. Ingram hit the Mavs for 29 points on 12–21 FGs, leading all scorers. Dropping timely buckets all night, Ingram sealed the game in the fourth quarter with a drive and slam as the Mavs defense parted like he was playing with a force field. Ball was also vital to the Lakers win, finishing the competition with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Five Lakers ended with double-digit scoring (Kuzma, Hart, Beasley).

Doncic led the Mavs scoring with 27 points. However, Doncic wasn’t optimal from the 3-point line (2–6) and had to work hard and take heavy punishment to get his field goals. The other scoring efforts from the Mavs left much to be desired and helps explain tonight’s outcome.

Sloppy play continues to haunt the Mavs. They shot less than 27% from the 3-point line, committed 19 turnovers, and lost the fast break point battle, 34–5. And, despite the first half advantage, the Mavs ended up with three less FTAs. The defense the Mavericks submit is continuously porous and the shooting/scoring is blatantly streaky. It is widely known and acknowledged that this team will need to make a move in order to seriously make a playoff push.

GAME NOTES:

Tonight J.J. Barea played in his 800th NBA game. The undrafted point guard from Puerto Rico was a vital piece to the Mavs’ 2011 title run.Additionally, he is a key veteran that is helping the team progress the team’s newest young talent.

NEXT GAME: 1/9/18 vs. Phoenix Suns, 5:30 p.m. CST

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Originally published at blackjonwrites.wordpress.com on January 8, 2019.