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Lakers' defensive breakdowns enable Dallas guard Jason Terry to have a big night

February 25, 2010 |  2:21 pm

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Another game, another day where the Lakers struggle defending the perimeter. The latest beneficiary of such a collapse was Dallas reserve guard Jason Terry, who scored 30 points on 10 of 20 shooting in the Lakers' 101-96 loss Wednesday to the Mavericks.

It's one thing for someone like Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki to score 31 points. He hasn't exactly eclipsed 20,000 career points by accident. It's another for Terry to drop 30; he became a sixth man when Dallas  acquired Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood,  and had shot 31% in that role. With Butler out Wednesday (medical issues),  Terry did just fine. Below is exactly how the Lakers allowed Terry to have his second-best performance this month.

First quarter 3:07 - 2:51

After Mavericks forward Shawn Marion passed the ball to Dallas guard Jason Kidd on the nearside perimeter, Marion set a screen on Lakers guard Jordan Farmar, allowing Terry to penetrate the wing. Marion then set a screen on Lakers forward Lamar Odom for Kidd. Odom and guard Shannon Brown switched, with Kidd moving to the top of the key and Marion moving toward the wing. While Terry moved along the baseline, Farmar tried catching up by cutting down toward the paint and got stuck in traffic with  Haywood inside. Kidd found Terry open for a nearside corner jumper, and Brown tried to compensate. But Terry's shot swished through the net, giving Dallas an 18-16 lead.

First quarter 1:47 - 1:39

Following Odom's layup, the Mavericks tried to push in transition while the Lakers were slow to get back. After Kidd passed the ball to Terry on the far end of the court near the timeline, Terry drove past Farmar behind the three-point line with a left crossover. As Terry drove into the lane, Odom caught up to contest the shot, but Terry converted an easy lay-in, giving Dallas a 20-18 edge.

Second quarter 11:26 - 11:21

With Terry manning the point on the near end of the court, Farmar forced him to his left. A simple left crossover resulted in an easy drive to the basket for the left-handed layup. Neither Bynum nor Brown helped on the baseline side, Terry drew a foul on Farmar and converted on the three-point play for a 25-23 lead.

Second quarter 10:52 - 10:47

On an inbounds play, Dallas guard Rodrigue Beaubois passed the ball up top to Terry.  Nowitzki set a screen on Farmar, and Lakers forward Pau Gasol didn't switch. That allowed Terry to drive to his right with relative ease, going past Odom for the right-handed layup. The score gave Dallas a 27-26 lead.

Second quarter 9:35 - 9:27

Marion drove past Ron Artest on the far corner and then found forward Eduardo Najera on the left block. With Brown trailing, Odom picked up Najera in the post, leading him to kick it out to Terry, who should've been guarded by Brown. Terry made the open corner three from the nearside, cutting the Lakers' lead to 32-30.

Second quarter 6:28 - 6:20

Dallas guard Jose Barea went up to the top of the key and passed the ball to Nowitzki, whose jumper from the right block hit iron. Gasol positioned himself on the near end of the paint over guard DeShawn Stevenson, but he didn't really box him out. Stevenson tipped the missed shot out to Terry, who swished a wide open 25-foot three-pointer, reducing the Lakers' lead to 38-37.

Third quarter 3:09 - 3:01

Once Gasol's layup rimmed out, he tried tipping the ball in twice to no avail. The tips just went off the glass, and Nowitzki eventually tipped the ball forward to Kidd, who found Terry in transition outside the perimeter on the nearside. Lakers guard Derek Fisher was marking the paint instead of the perimeter, allowing Terry to make the open three and giving the Mavericks a 69-67 lead.

Fourth quarter 5:27 - 5:20

After Nowitzki set a screen on Fisher at the top of the key, Fisher fought through the screen but fell on the ground after Nowitzki extended his elbow (no call). Though Odom had switched, he moved back to Nowitzki since Fisher was on the ground. That left Terry open for a three-pointer, making it 90-84 in favor of Dallas.

Fourth quarter 2:25 - 2:19

After Nowitzki swiped the ball from  Bynum, Kidd ran a three-on-one break. With Kobe Bryant having to account for all three, he moved toward Kidd, who dished it off for Terry for the easy right-handed layup, giving Dallas a 95-86 cushion.

Fourth quarter 1:40

With Fisher guarding Terry along the baseline, Terry flashed up toward the perimeter and Fisher failed to catch up. Kidd connected with Terry, who curled for a 21-foot jumper, giving Dallas a 97-89 lead.

What It Means

While Terry looked for driving opportunities and showcased good ability in getting open, obviously the Lakers backcourt's quickness continues to remain an issue. But that's not the only problem. It seems that when part of the Lakers' defense broke down against Dallas (getting beat on defense, getting picked), the rest of the Lakers defense collapsed. Many of the switches and helpside defense did very little to stop Terry's layups and open perimeter shots.

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Jason Terry scored 30 points off the bench to help the Mavericks defeat the Lakers. Credit: Matthew Emmons / US Presswire.


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