LOS ANGELES — The Los Angles on Thursday night dropped their 12th game in a row to the Dallas Mavericks falling 101-89.
Things tilted in the Mavericks favor in the third quarter with an 18-point swing and held control the rest of the way. It also marked the seventh straight loss to Dallas at Staples Center in the regular season. Here are a few takeaways from Thursday’s contest:
Third Quarter Woes
The Lakers’ third quarter struggles once again prevalent with their seven-point advantage at the half disappearing with an 18-point swing with Mavericks outscoring them 31-13 in the period.
Dallas took complete control of the game in the quarter going on a 23-8 run with Wesley Matthews scoring 10 of his 20 points on the night in the period. In total, they shot 52.4 percent from the field including six of 10 from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles shot 29.4 percent from the field with just as many made field goals (five) to turnovers committed (five) in the period. In fact, it was porous second half from the Lakers scoring just 32 points on 35.5 percent shooting with nine turnovers.
Heading into the game, they had given up the second-most points in the league in the third quarter at home this season at 28.3. This is an issue that Lakers head coach Luke Walton believed his team had gotten past.
“It’s frustrating where we are at. I was hopeful we learned from our past mistakes. It’s frustrating that it happened again,” Walton said. “That’s definitely not how I want us to play the way we played in the second half.
Defensive Problems Persist
One of the Lakers’ biggest issues this season has been their troubles on the defensive end of the floor.
Prior to the game, they ranked 27th in the league in points allowed at 110.3 and last in opponents’ field-goal shooting at 47.8 percent.
These problems once again reared their ugly head against the Mavericks allowing them to shot 49.4 percent from the field while scoring 101 points, including 45.2 percent from 3-point range with 14 threes made. It marked the 12th time in the last 15 games that Dallas has knocked down at least 10 three-pointers.
“Defensively we just have to figure out how to keep guys out of the paint,” Jordan Clarkson said. “When guys are posting up, we’ve got to figure out when we come in and double. We need to make them take tough shots.”
The Lakers will have another tough challenge ahead of them on Sunday against the Toronto Raptors, who currently hold the league’s third-highest scoring offense (111.4) and field goal percent from the field (47.2).
Young Stays Hot
Heading into Thursday’s contest, Nick Young was one of the team’s most productive scorers over the last couple of weeks
Young added another solid night shooting night notching 17 points on an efficient 6-of-8 clip, including knocking down five 3-pointers. The bulk of his production came in the first quarter hitting all four of his attempts from beyond the arc in the period for 12 points.
He cooled off in the second half notching just five points on 2-of-4 shooting with both made field goals coming in the third quarter.
“They just got a separate game plan,” Young said of his performance in the second half. “It was tough. They got us outside ourselves in the second quarter. That’s how they won.”
Despite that, the 30-year-old has found his stroke in the last seven games shooting 53.7% from three-point range. This includes knocking down 29 three-pointers over that stretch while hitting five or more from beyond the arc five times.
Bob Garcia IV
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