Los Angeles Lakers Third Quarter Meltdown leads to Dallas Mavericks Christmas Day Win

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One of the many NBA Christmas games that were slated included the Los Angeles Lakers (13-19) and the (17-16) Dallas Mavericks. Prior to tip-off, the Mavericks unveiled a statue dedicated to their best franchise player who delivered the organization a championship in ‘06, Dirk Nowitizki. The Lakers were coming off a heartbreaking loss after their late game rally had come up short against the Charlotte Hornets. The Mavericks were coming off a string of wins against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Houston Rockets. 

Once again the Lakers were without their star power forward, Anthony Davis (right foot) and Juan Toscano-Anderson (ankle). The Mavericks also had key players out of the lineup including Frank Ntilikina, Josh Green, Dorian-Finney Smith, Kemba Walker, and Maxi Kleber. 

The first half had the Lakers running away with the game, amounting to a lead as large as 14 as they were looking to spoil the unveiling of Nowitzki’s statue in handling a loss to the Mavericks. The Lakers were playing extremely efficient as they were shooting 59% from the field in the first, and slumped down to 47% in the second quarter. The offense was not the only thing that was going for the Lakers as defensively they held the Mavericks to 35% from the field in the first and 42% in the second. With the Lakers excellent play they went into the half with the score at 54-43 with LeBron responsible for 18 of his own. 

When the second half opened up the Lakers completely crumbled as they allowed for the Mavericks to erupt for a 41-11(scoring 51 in the third) run led by Tim Hardaway Jr. with 11 points and Luka Dončić with 9 of his own. The Mavericks had gone from 11 points down to 19 points up in a matter of minutes while shooting 72% from the field and 69% from three. During that scoring run the Mavericks had totaled 8 of their 18 threes on the night which allowed them to go up as large as 21 points (the largest of the night). Offensively speaking the Lakers had also plummeted with their efficiency going from 47% from the field in the second to 33% in the third. However, the Lakers were able to turn it around somewhat in the final quarter in which they had put up 40 points of their own but similar to that of the Hornets game, it wasn’t enough as they lost 124-115. This loss for the Lakers marks the club’s fourth in a row since the Anthony Davis injury as well as LeBron’s first to Dončić. This loss also dropped LeBron’s Christmas Day record to 10-7 in which he currently is tied for the most wins on Christmas Day. 

LeBron was able to have another masterclass performance with the following stats, 38 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. The Lakers only had two other players in double digits in the scoring column: Russell Westbrook with 17 points and Austin Reaves with 16 points.

As for the Mavericks they had two players that nearly had themselves a triple-double with Dončić posting 32 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists: Christian Wood with 30 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. The Mavericks also had contributions from Tim Hardaway Jr. with 26 points and Reggie Bullock with 14 points. 

What’s Next?

The Los Angeles Lakers (13-20) will continue on with their 5 game road trip with a pit stop in Florida. The Lakers will face one of the hottest teams in the league right now with the Orlando Magic (13-21). The Magic have won 8 of their last nine games including back to back wins against the Boston Celtics in TD Garden. On the season the Magic are averaging 110.3 points per game (4th worst offense) while allowing 113.1. Heading into Tuesday night’s matchup, the Lakers will have many difficult assignments as the Magic have the candidate for the Rookie of the Year in Paolo Banchero who is averaging 21.7 points per game and Franz Wanger who is averaging 19.8 points.

For more News about the Los Angeles Lakers visit: www.lakers.com

For more sports coverage from MLB, NBA, NFL, to NCAA contact Julian Ojeda at 786-501-9082 or via email 


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