Lakers-Mavericks Game 1: Mavericks rally to defeat the Lakers, 96-94
After losing Game 1 in the last series against the New Orleans Hornets, the Lakers were certainly looking for a better start Monday night against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series.
But the Lakers built a 16-point lead only to lose, 96-94, putting themselves in the same hole they started the last series.
The final 1:20 went like this:
--Kobe Bryant hits a two to give the Lakers a 94-81 lead with 59 seconds to go.
--Dirk Nowitzki makes his shot and Dallas is down by one with 40 seconds to play.
--Bryant loses the ball with 20 seconds to play and it is the Mavericks' game to win.
--On the inbounds pass Pau Gasol fouls Nowitzki, who makes both free throws and the Mavericks lead, 95-94, with 19.5 seconds to play.
--Jason Kidd commits a non-shooting foul against Bryant with 8.8 seconds to play.
--Gasol loses the ball after the inbounds play and fouls Kidd, who makes one of two free throws, leaving the Lakers with 3.1 seconds to tie the score or win the game.
--Bryant misses a three-pointer at the buzzer off a well-designed inbounds play that gets him a clean look from the top of the three-point area.
Bryant was the game’s leading scorer with 36 points. Gasol added 15.
Nowitzki had 28 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Mavericks.
Kobe Bryant rejoined the game with 6:38 to play. The Mavericks scored quickly but Bryant answered with a jumper. Then after a Mavericks miss, Lamar Odom drove to the basket and gave the Lakers a five-point lead with a little over five minutes to play.
After a Mavericks timeout, Dirk Nowitzki hit a fadeaway over some tough defense by Odom. After a Bryant miss, Nowitzki tried the same shot but missed.
Bryant then made a jumper, giving him 34 points in the game, and the lead was back to five. But an alley-oop to Tyson Chandler made it a three-point game. Bryant missed badly the next time down the court. Nowitzki then missed and there was a timeout with 2:12 to play.
Lakers 86, Mavericks 83 (6:38 left in fourth quarter)
Certainly Kobe Bryant has been the key for the Lakers but he needed a rest and he opened the fourth quarter on the bench, as he usually does.
A fadeaway by Dirk Nowitzki cut the Lakers' lead to five and three-pointer by Peja Stojakovic cut it to two. But a breakaway by Matt Barnes got it back to four. Nowitzki answered with a three-pointer and it was a one-point game with a little more than three minutes gone in the quarter.
After a timeout, Andrew Bynum went to the foul line and made both free throws. He now has eight points in the game. Jason Terry closed it to a one-point game and after a Shannon Brown miss the Mavericks had a chance to take the lead. But Nowitzki missed his shot and Brown made a basket underneath, was fouled, but missed the free throw.
J.J. Barea closed it back to a one-point game before the Lakers missed two shots. Jason Terry missed for Mavericks but Lamar Odom made a reverse under the basket as the teams headed to a timeout.
Lakers 78, Mavericks 71 (end of third quarter)
Coming out of the timeout, Kobe Bryant sank an uncontested jumper. The Mavericks had good ball movement and Tyson Chandler scored underneath. Ron Artest then put up an airball. Pau Gasol fouled Chandler, who missed the first of his foul shots but made the second.
Bryant came down court and made the next shot and the lead was back to four. Bryant then hit a three-pointer, giving him 27 points so far, and it was a seven-point lead.
The Mavericks then picked up a couple buckets and the Lakers' lead was cut to three. Bryant then got to 30 points with another three, but followed that up with a miss.
Phil Jackson’s normal substitution pattern would have Bryant on the bench resting at this point. But he waited until 41 seconds remained in the quarter to rest him. Gasol then hit two free throws and the Lakers were up by eight.
Gasol finished the quarter at the foul line, making both shots to give him 14 points and the Lakers a seven-point lead entering the fourth quarter.
Lakers 64, Mavericks 61 (5:19 left in third quarter)
Things started well in the second half for the Lakers as Ron Artest stole the ball on the Mavericks' first possession and drove in for a layup. The Lakers then followed that with a Pau Gasol slam and their lead was 13 points. After Derek Fisher stole the ball, Kobe Bryant hit a three-pointer and the Lakers were on a 7-0 run to start the half and a 21-2 run if you go back to the second quarter.
The Mavericks called a quick timeout, trailing by 16 points, with less than a minute and a half gone in the second half.
Dirk Nowitzki broke the Mavericks' dry spell with a jumper, which turned into a three-point play when Fisher fouled him.
Andrew Bynum countered with a nice hook shot but that was answered by Tyson Chandler. A turnover led to another Mavericks basket and the Lakers' lead was cut to 11 points. Fisher then missed a jumper and Jason Kidd hit a three-pointer to slice the Lakers' lead to eight.
But Bryant then made a basket, which was answered by Corey Brewer. Nowitzki closed Dallas' deficit to six points and the Staples Center crowd became nervous. Artest then missed and Brewer made a three, cutting the once 16-point lead down to three.
Lakers 53, Mavericks 44 (halftime)
Out of the timeout, Lamar Odom fouled Dirk Nowitzki, who upped his point total to 10. Odom then scored, cutting the Mavericks lead to three.
The Lakers closed it to one, 38-37, on a fadeaway jumper by Kobe Bryant, his 11th and 12th points of the game. Nowitzki missed his next shot as did Ron Artest. But a bad pass gave the Lakers the ball back but Derek Fisher missed a layup. Jason Terry followed with a two and the Lakers just couldn’t shake the three-point spread
Coming out of a timeout Bryant missed a shot as did the Mavericks. The game closed to one when Pau Gasol converted on a Bryant miss. But Terry was hot and made a two, giving him 13 points. Odom answered that as the period headed to the two-minute mark.
Nowitzki missed his next shot and Fisher drove the floor, got the two, was fouled and converted for a three-point play. The Lakers had the lead, 44-42.
Things were getting spirited and the referees gave technicals to Tyson Chandler and Gasol.
After a miss, the Lakers drove down the court, Bryant was fouled, and suddenly the Lakers were up by four.
The Lakers caught another break when Chandler was assessed a foul, sending Gasol to the line. He missed his first foul shot but made the second. The Lakers picked up a block and Fisher drove the lane again for a basket and the Lakers were up by seven.
Nowitzki scored what should have been the last points of the quarter. But Terry fouled Odom on a desperation shot with less than one second left. Odom went to the line and made all three.
But things got worse for the Mavericks as Nowitzki was assessed a technical. Bryant made the shot and the Lakers were up by nine.
Bryant was the leading scorer for the Lakers with 15 points. Odom had 11. The Lakers were 20-for-42 shooting (48%).
Terry's 13 points led the Mavericks while Nowitzki had 12. The Mavericks shot 18 of 42 (43%).
Mavericks 39, Lakers 36 (6:15 left in second quarter)
The Lakers came out of the timeout by adding Pau Gasol to the lineup while Kobe Bryant stayed on the bench. It paid off when Gasol’s assist to Andrew Bynum gave the young center his first points of the game. The Mavericks answered and then a series of misses and fouls sent Jason Terry to the line. He made both free throws and the Mavericks' lead was five points.
With 6:34 to play, Bryant and Ron Artest rejoined the game and the Lakers had their starting five on the court.
Bynum then picked up a slam off another Gasol assist and the Lakers had closed the deficit it to three.
Mavericks 32, Lakers 29 (8:00 left in second quarter)
One thing the Lakers need to do as the second quarter starts is get Andrew Bynum involved in the game. In 10 minutes he was zero for two from the field with no rebounds.
Lamar Odom tied the score with a 11:18 left until haftime but Dirk Nowitzki answered with a two. After a three-second violation, Mavericks guard Jason Terry put the Lakers down by four.
The next few minutes saw a series of mistakes and the Lakers got back to within three points when Shannon Brown scored his third and fourth points of the game on a drive down the lane.
The teams went into a timeout with the Lakers having the ball.
Mavericks 25, Lakers 23 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers did something they haven’t done too much: started a game strong. Kobe Bryant scored the first seven points for the Lakers. But as the quarter developed the Mavericks started getting hot from three-point range. They took the lead, 21-19, with about three minutes left in the quarter after a 9-1 run.
With 1:35 to play Jason Terry’s bucket gave the Mavericks a four-point edge. Lamar Odom then went to the line and made two free throws for the Lakers; it was the first bench points of the game for the Lakers. The Mavericks had 10 at that point. Matt Barnes then gave the Lakers two more points off the bench.
The Lakers closed it to two after a Mavericks miss but Steve Blake missed a three-pointer and the Lakers were down by two.
The Lakers were nine-for-23 shooting for the quarter while the Mavericks were 11 of 23. Each team sank three three-pointers.
Bryant was the leading scorer with 10. Dirk Nowitzki had six for the Mavericks.
The last time the Lakers were at Staples Center -- Game 5 of the New Orleans series -- all the talk was on how Kobe Bryant’s ankle would hold up. Clearly, it held up just fine.
But on Monday, before Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal series against the Dallas Mavericks, the mood was very different.
“I think he’s a lot better,” Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said before the game. “He took a limited amount of shots (at the shootaround) and that’s always a good sign.”
Bryant is a lot different than Jackson’s previous superstar. Michael Jordan, when he played for the Bulls, did not have the injury problems and showed up for every practice with intensity. Bryant doesn’t really like to practice.
“I don’t anticipate that he’ll ever practice again,” Jackson joked before the game.
Staples Center is filling up and game time is approaching, Come back for updates throughout the game.
Photo: Lakers forward Ron Artest strips the ball from the grasp of Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki in the first half Monday night at Staples Center. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times