The Dallas Mavericks suffered a heart-breaking loss against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, despite starting off strong. The Mavericks led 48-21 less than five minutes into the second quarter, but the game took a turn for the worse after that point. The Lakers went on to outscore the Mavericks 90-60 for the rest of the game, leading to a 111-108 victory. Dallas Mavericks Missed Chance to Extend Lead Over Lakers in Loss.
Dallas Mavericks Missed Chance to Extend Lead Over Lakers in Loss
For the Mavericks, it was a frustrating game as everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Coach Jason Kidd expressed disappointment over the loss, noting that the team lost their rhythm and got distracted by the referee’s calls. “We’ve just got to be better with that,” Kidd said.
This loss brought back memories of a similar game on Dec. 6, 2002, when the Mavericks were leading the Lakers by 27 points at the start of the fourth quarter. The Lakers rallied and won in dramatic fashion, with Kobe Bryant scoring 21 points in the final quarter and the team outscoring the Mavericks 44-15 while converting 16-of-18 field goals.
The Mavericks’ loss on Sunday was a tough pill to swallow, especially considering their strong start to the game. Despite the disappointment, the team will need to regroup and prepare for their next game. With the NBA season in full swing, every game counts, and the Mavericks will be looking to bounce back from this loss and continue their pursuit of a playoff spot.
On Sunday, the DallasKyrie Mavericks suffered a disappointing loss against the Los Angeles Lakers, blowing a 27-point lead and ultimately falling 111-108. Despite starting strong and leading 48-21 less than five minutes into the second quarter, the Mavs were unable to maintain their rhythm and ultimately lost their grip on the game.
“We lost our rhythm in the sense of just playing our game and not worrying about the other elements,” said coach Jason Kidd. “Our rhythm there in the first two-and-a-half (quarters), we were playing at a high level on both ends, offensively and defensively. Then, we just got a little distracted with the whistle. We’ve just got to be better with that.”
The loss was reminiscent of a similar defeat suffered by the Mavs in 2002, when they led the Lakers by 27 points entering the fourth quarter, only to see the Lakers rally and win 105-103 in dramatic fashion. Sunday’s blown 27-point lead tied for the third-largest blown lead in franchise history for the Mavs, and it was a surprising result given that teams leading by 27 or more points this season had been 138-0 entering Sunday’s games.
Kidd acknowledged that the Lakers’ ability to work the game was a key factor in their victory. “What the Lakers just showed us is (in the race to the championship) it’s not the rabbit who wins,” Kidd said. “It’s the turtle. They worked the game and that’s what we have to get to. We have to get better at working the game, and we will.”
Looking back on the game, there were three key takeaways for the Mavs. First, their inability to protect the rim was a major factor in their loss. The Lakers outscored the Mavs in the paint, 62-32, and also outscored them in second-chance points, 18-10. While the Mavs were 16-of-36 from the floor inside the paint, the Lakers were a dominant 31-of-52. Interestingly, the Lakers were only 11-of-45 outside of the painted area, while the Mavs were 23-of-57 from the perimeter.
Second, rebounding was a critical factor in the game, particularly in the second half. In the first half, the Mavs were outrebounding the Lakers by a 31-26 margin and held a 61-47 lead at halftime. However, in the second half, the Lakers outscored the Mavs 64-47 and outrebounded them 30-17, including 17 offensive rebounds to 11 for the Mavs.
Finally, the Mavs missed a golden opportunity to put some distance between themselves and the Lakers in the standings. Had they won, the Mavs would have been four-and-a-half games ahead of the Lakers, including a four-game lead in the loss column. Instead, they now lead the Lakers by just two-and-a-half games, making the race for the playoffs even tighter.
Overall, Sunday’s loss was a disappointing result for the Mavs, but there are lessons to be learned and improvements to be made. As Kidd noted, the key to success is working the game and maintaining focus and rhythm, even in the face of adversity.