Lakers vs. Mavericks Game 4: Dallas sweeps Lakers out of playoffs with 122-86 win
In a game not befitting the long and successful career of Coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers were embarrassed by the Dallas Mavericks, 122-86, and swept out of the Western Conference semifinals, four game to none.
It wasn’t that the Lakers played poorly -- although credit the Mavericks with an unbelievable three-point shooting game -- it was the total lack of class they showed down the stretch. Both Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum were ejected for cheap shots in separate incidents in the fourth quarter.
The game was essentially over at halftime, although the Lakers were able to cut their deficit to 19 points in the third quarter. The Mavericks outscored the Lakers, 36-16, in the second quarter.
But, in the end, the Mavericks were unbelievable in shooting threes. They were 20 of 32 with Jason Terry making nine of 10. Both tied playoff records. And Terry isn’t even a starter.
With four minutes to play, both coaches were playing reserves. Of course, in the Mavericks' case, it was the second-teamers who won the game. They outscored the Lakers bench, 85-37. In fact, the Mavericks reserves outscored the starters.
Terry was the game’s leading scorer with 32 points. Jose Barea had 22 points and Peja Stojakovic added 21. None of the three are starters.
The Lakers were led by Kobe Bryant with 17 points. Shannon Brown added 15.
It was a most unmemorable finish to Jackson’s career, since he has stated he is retiring after this season.
It seemed as if the Lakers retired even before the end of this game.
Fittingly, the Lakers opened the final quarter as Shannon Brown missed a 20-footer, got the rebound and threw up an airball. Brendan Haywood, one of the worst free-throw shooters in the league, then made two of them and the lead was 26 points.
The Lakers got two back when Lamar Odom drove the lane for a bucket. But Dirk Nowitzki came back with -- what else? -- a three.
Matt Barnes got a different version of a three as he was fouled on a put-back, which went in, and then he hit the foul shot.
Peja Stojakovic then hit the Mavericks 17th three-point shot -- a playoff record. The lead was 27. Odom was fouled on the next possession and made one of two.
The game then started to turn chippy as Odom shoved Nowitzki for a flagrant foul 2 and Odom was tossed from the game. Nowitzki made the technicals. The referees were concerned about losing control and called a quick foul on Ron Artest to let the players know to dial things down.
But it didn’t work. Jose Barea drove the lane and Andrew Bynum elbowed him in the ribs while he was in the air. Barea landed hard on the court and Bynum was also thrown out of the game when a flagrant foul 2 was called with the Mavericks up by 32.
Mavericks 86, Lakers 57 (end of third quarter)
Jason Terry has definitely been a game changer -- one of many -- for the Mavericks. His eight-of-nine three-point shooting is one short of the playoff record.
Coming out of a timeout Pau Gasol made an easy jumper but that was answered by Jason Kidd. Gasol followed that up with a two. Kobe Bryant had suddenly lost his touch as he seemed to be missing shots that he normally makes with ease.
The Lakers did cut the deficit to 22 points with a Lamar Odom reverse. Jose Barea, who has been a pest to the Lakers, then drove for a two. Odom followed that possession with an almost identical reverse, he was fouled but missed the shot.
Terry tied the NBA record for three-pointers when he made his ninth with about three minutes to play in the quarter. Shannon Brown came back down for a three.
Dirk Nowitzki followed with a layup. Then after Brown missed a three, the Mavericks got their 15th three-pointer of the game when Peja Stojakovic scored from long range. The Lakers were now down by 29. No hope. No chance. This series is over.
The quarter ended as Odom made one of two free throws, Matt Barnes made a layup and Brown made another layup. But 24 points is too many for the Lakers to make up in just 12 minutes.
Mavericks 71, Lakers 46 (6:19 remaining in third quarter)
Can the Lakers come back from a 24-point deficit? Not the way they played in the first half.
The Lakers came out firing in the third quarter as Ron Artest made a three-pointer after two Mavericks misses to cut the lead to 21 points. But Dirk Nowitzki, who seemingly never misses, made a two. The game went back and forth with some sloppy play and a lot of missed shots.
Indicative of the way the Lakers were playing was when Artest missed a layup and then fouled a Maverick.
The Lakers had closed it to 19 points before Jason Terry knocked down a pair of three-pointers and the lead was 25 again.
Mavericks 63, Lakers 39 (halftime)
The Mavericks made their 10th three-pointer when Peja Stojakovic hit a 25-footer and the lead was back to 18 points. After some misses, the Lakers then turned the ball over on offensive goaltending. After the Lakers turned it over again, Dirk Nowitzki hit a jumper and the lead was 20.
On the Lakers' next possession, a bad pass resulted in another basket by Jason Terry, who followed that with yet another three-pointer. The lead was 25 points and this Lakers team looks dead in the water.
Derek Fisher did finish the quarter with one of two free throws, Pau Gasol missed the follow and the half ended a few seconds later.
Rarely have the Lakers been dominated like they were in this first half. There doesn’t seem to be much hope that they can come back, although stranger things have happened.
The story of the first half is in the shooting. The Mavericks were 25 of 42 (59.5%), including 11 of 15 from the three-point line. The Lakers were 14 of 38 (37%), and one for eight from long range. The Mavericks' bench outscored the Lakers by an astonishing 40-7.
Terry was the leading scorer with 20 points, followed by Stojakovic with 12. Nowitzki and Barea each had eight. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 15, followed by Bynum with six and Fisher with five.
Mavericks 53, Lakers 38 (3:37 remaining in second quarter)
Coming out of the last timeout, Jose Barea and Ron Artest traded baskets but Jason Terry and Peja Stojakovic each hit three-pointers to extend the Maverick' lead to 18 points, 50-32. It was the ninth three-pointer in the first 18 minutes for the Mavericks.
Laker Coach Phil Jackson, not known to panic, called a quick timeout to try to settle his team.
Kobe Bryant did just that for a few moments but Barea answered with an easy basket. Lamar Odom came back down and scored for the Lakers. After misses by Dirk Nowitzki and Derek Fisher, the Lakers' point guard fouled Stojakovic and he made one of two free throws to give the Mavericks a 17-point lead. Pau Gasol finally made his first field goal to cut the deficit to 15 points and the Mavericks called a timeout.
Mavericks 42, Lakers 30 (8:11 remaining in second quarter)
The second quarter started strong for the Mavericks as Jason Terry made a three-pointer and Peja Stojakovic stole the ball and scored on a layup to give the Mavericks a nine-point lead. Andrew Bynum cut the Lakers' deficit to seven with a couple of free throws. After a steal, Bynum drove for a layup but it was answered by Dirk Nowitzki.
Terry gave the Mavericks a 10-point lead with another three and it was clear the Lakers had to find a way to shut down their long-range shooting or this series will be over. At this point the Mavericks were six for nine from beyond the three-point line, while the Lakers missed all five of their long-distance shots.
Coming out of a timeout, Steve Blake hit the first three-pointer for the Lakers. Jose Barea made a two for the Mavericks and Terry continued his torrid three-point shooting for another basket, forcing Lakers Coach Phil Jackson to call a timeout with his team down by 12 points.
Mavericks 27, Lakers 23 (end of first quarter)
Missing from the Lakers' offense early in the first quarter was Pau Gasol, who many are blaming for the Lakers' sudden downturn. He missed both his shots and had only one rebound.
Coming out of the timeout, the Lakers needed to stop the 6-0 Mavericks run but Derek Fisher missed a long three-pointer. The Mavericks made it an 8-0 run on a Tyson Chandler slam off a lob pass.
Kobe Bryant stopped the run with a jumper but Jason Kidd answered with a three and the Dallas lead was six. Fisher came back down the court for a two, with his foot on the three-point line. After misses by both teams, Bryant came back with a two and the Lakers were back to within two.
The Lakers were clearly leaning on Bryant. With three minutes to play in the quarter only Bryant, Fisher and Andrew Bynum had scored for the Lakers, while all the Mavericks starters had put up points.
The Mavericks called timeout with 2:53 to play and came out of it with a turnover. Gasol drove the lane, was fouled and made both shots to tie the score.
Jason Terry put the Mavericks up again with a three, underscoring how the Mavericks' bench has been playing. After a Fisher miss, Peja Stojakovic made a three and the Mavericks' lead was six. Bryant cut it to four with a jumper. And Shannon Brown cut it by two more with free throws after he was fouled on a breakaway.
Jose Barea once again beat the Lakers through the lane for a two and the Lakers looked bad on their final possession of the quarter with two misses.
The stats painted a picture that explains the Lakers' troubles. They were eight of 19 from the field, including missing all five three-pointers. The Mavericks were 11-for-21 shooting but made four of seven from beyond the three-point line. The Mavericks' bench outscored the Lakers bench 8-2.
Bryant was the leading scorer with 13 points. Chandler had five for the Mavericks, followed by Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki with four.
Mavericks 14, Lakers 11 (5:22 remaining in first quarter)
Lots of missed shots in the opening minutes of this ever-so-important game as both teams struggled from the field. Kobe Bryant scored the first three points for the Lakers off a free throw (he missed the other) and a jumper. The Mavericks got their first points on a three by DeShawn Stevenson.
A three-point play by Tyson Chandler gave the Mavericks a 6-3 lead but a couple of foul shots by Derek Fisher and a basket by Bryant gave the Lakers the lead at 7-6.
The Lakers extended the lead to 9-6 on a basket by Andrew Bynum. Dirk Nowitzki and Bryant traded baskets but after a turnover, Shawn Marion gave the Mavericks the lead 12-11. Ron Artest, back after a one game suspension, missed a shot and Marion scored on a runner to give the Mavericks a 14-11 lead heading into the first timeout.
The disparity in bench play has been one of the dominant themes of this series, and a clear reason why the Lakers are 48 minutes away from elimination.
In the Mavericks' Game 3 win in Dallas, their bench poured in 42 points to only 15 for the Lakers.
The Lakers' big men also had to play heavy minutes on Friday because Ron Artest was suspended. Lamar Odom played 42 minutes, Pau Gasol 40 and Andrew Bynum 37. And the Lakers' defense was sloppy in the final five mnutes of play.
In Sunday's Game 4, Coach Phil Jackson said he will play Artest, so at least the minutes should even out in the front court.
Somewhat to my surprise the gambling site Beted.com has the same line on Game 4 as it did in Game 3: Mavericks favored by two points.
Photo: Lakers power forward Pau Gasol attempts a shot over the double-team defense of Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd and forward Peja Stojakovic in the first half Sunday in Dallas. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times