LOS ANGELES — Brandan Wright‘s season-high 23 points lifted the Dallas Mavericks to a 107-95 win against the Los Angeles Lakers en route to their first season sweep in franchise history.
After a back-and-forth first half that featured seven lead changes and six ties that had Los Angeles hold a 54-52 advantage, both teams continued to trade blows throughout the third quarter. However, Dallas grabbed the lead late as Dirk Nowitzki scored six out of the last eight points of the quarter for his team that gave them a 82-78 advantage.
In the fourth quarter the Mavericks separated from the Lakers with a 15-5 run to start the quarter as Brendan Wright scored 11 of his 23 in his a perfect night of 10-of-10 shooting from field for the game. Los Angeles did not get any closer than 10 points for the remainder of the game.
“I thought we played well for the most of the game,” head coach Mike D’Antoni said. “The first half we had a few bad breaks where the ball bounced around, but overall not bad. We needed a couple more guys to have bigger games and we just didn’t quite get it (done). We have to give them credit because they played like they were a playoff team. They played pretty well.”
For Nick Young, it was the play of Nowitzki, who scored 27 points on an efficient 11 of 14 shooting to along with nine rebounds that helped lead the Mavericks to their second consecutive win in as many nights.
“They just got out there and made some big shots,” Young said, who had 14 points in the loss. “They went to their go-to (player) and it’s hard to stop someone that is 7-foot that shoots the way he shoots. They just did what they had to do.”
Young suffered a mild right ankle sprain at the 7:02 mark in the fourth quarter as came down with a defensive rebound that forced him to rest of the game.
“It’s a little sore,” Young said of his injury.” It’s been a tough season where everybody has been hurt. It’s just tough.”
Despite the injury, Young expects to play in Sunday’s contest against the Los Angeles Clippers if he is ankle checks out fine prior to the game.
After missing Wednesday’s game against the Sacramento Kings, Steve Nash played 19 minutes off the bench as he scoredfour points with seven assists, which put him just five short of passing Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson for third place on the NBA’s all-time assist list behind John Stockton and Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd.
In the loss, Los Angeles had four scorers in double figures lead by Jodie Meeks 25 points which is 15th 20-plus point output this season, and Jordan Hill also chipped in with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.
After the Lakers took an 11-9 lead in the first quarter following a 3-pointer by Meeks, the Mavericks responded by going on 12-0 run that was capped off by a layup from Samuel Dalembert. Despite Los Angeles cutting the deficit to just four points at 27-23 at the end of the first quarter as Meeks scored 11 points, Dallas was able to dominate the paint with a 18-4 advantage and shot at a higher percentage at 46 percent from the field.
In the second, it was the Lakers’ hot shooting at 61 percent that helped shift the momentum in their direction as they used a 10-0 run midway through the quarter that gave them a 44-42 lead. For the remainder of the quarter it was much back and forth action that featured three ties and three lead changes, but Los Angeles pulled ahead with a reverse dunk by Jordan hill in waning seconds to give them a 54-52 lead at the half despite Nowitzki scoring nine of 17 first half points.
With Friday’s defeat, the Lakers are just one loss away from tying the most losses in a season that was set in the 1974-75 as the team finished the year with a 30-52 record.
Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Bob Garcia IV
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