Los Angeles, CA- The Los Angeles Lakers(9-7) erased a large 20-point deficit to the Dallas Mavericks(10-5) but relinquished the late lead, ultimately losing 104-101.
The Dallas Mavericks’ star duo Luka Donic and Kyrie Irving combined for 58 points, none bigger than Irving’s three-pointer with 21.1 on the clock to take the victory on the road.
The game started off chippy, after some early bumping and shoving between Grant Williams and Lebron James in the opening seconds that set the tone early.
The teams battled back and forth in the first period. Dallas held on to a 29-25 lead at the end of the quarter.
The Lakers struggled both from the field and to get defensive stops in the second quarter. The Mavericks outscored them 33-21. They found themselves trailing by as many as 16 points, with the score being 62-46 as they headed into halftime.
Luka Donic led the way for Dallas coming out of halftime. Scoring 11 of his 30 points and helping Dallas take a commanding 20-point lead 91-71 at the end of the third quarter.
Finally, in the final 12 minutes, the Lakers defense came alive. Los Angeles erupted on a 30-8 run. The Lakers led 101-99 with 1:16 left and took their first lead since the score was 23-21 in the first quarter.
Lebron James, averaging a league-high 9.8ppg in the fourth, mounted the comeback for Los Angeles. He scored 16 of his 26 points in the final quarter, complemented by 9 rebounds and 7 assists.
James and the Lakers turned the ball over shortly after Irving’s clutch three-pointer to take the lead and Lebron missed the game-tying three-pointer fading away in the corner as time expired.
Post game in a talk with the press Lebron stated “We gave ourselves a fighting chance, but it’s kind of tough when you go down that many points,”. He also shared his thoughts on the defense. “I liked our defense in the last 12 minutes. We’ve just got to be better for the first 36.”
Lakers look to bounce back Saturday, as the kid from Akron returns home the take on the Cleveland Cavaliers.