The Los Angeles Lakers capitalized on their final opportunity to silence the critics this weekend, and who’s been a bolder critic of the Lakers than Mark Cuban, owner of their Western Conference rivals the Dallas Mavericks. Well, the Los Angeles Lakers silenced them all for a while with a 115-89 victory at the Dallas Mavericks own home court at the American Airlines Center.
Led on by coach Mike D’Antoni’s faster paced offense, the Los Angeles Lakers erased all doubts about the new administrative level addition to their bench as they played with a renewed spirit. But in all fairness, the Los Angeles Lakers scoring ability goes beyond just veteran Kobe Bryant, while the Dallas Mavericks can be seemingly in trouble with a less than perfect O.J. Mayo an Dirk Nowitzki still sidelined with knee surgery.
Metta World Peace initiated a series of long-range shots from the Los Angeles Lakers by hitting three quick 3-pointers, and the scoreboard was Kobe free until the Lakers had scored 36 points in the game. However, once Kobe hit the basket, the NBA’s leading scorer, kept coming back with a lot more until he shared the spot among three other top scorers for the Lakers in the game (including Metta World Peace) with 19 points each.
Hence, the Los Angeles Lakers narrowly avoided their first 0-5 road start in over 20-years by topping the 100 points margin for the first time in four games under Mike D’Antoni.
"Metta played great. There was no reason not to," said Mike D’Antoni, who has a 2-2 record coaching the Los Angeles Lakers from the bench after knee surgery. "The force that we had rolling, and the way the ball moves, he'll get it and he should get 10 3s a night."
Meanwhile, the NBA’s leading long-range scorer with 42-points, O.J. Mayo had a 0-of-5 shooting from the arc. Kobe Bryant covered him well, so that O.J. Mayo scored just 13 points, nine under his average and even fell short on a finger-roll layup while shooting 1-of-7 from the field.
"Oh man, terrific defense," acknowledged O.J. Mayo. "But a lot of them were missed open shots."
Dallas Mavericks rookie Jae Crowder scored 15 points. Los Angeles Lakers All-Star Pau Gasol, who sat out the entire fourth quarter in the game, had `3 points with nine rebounds in the game.
Kobe Bryant was on fire near the end of the second-half as he scored the finals 14 points for the Los Angeles Lakers after scoring his first basket in the second-quarter to bring the Lakers up 41-23. The Los However, the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t really need Kobe Bryant’s heavy contribution starting on the 8:54 mark in the second-quarter with the team already leading with 20-points.
The Los Angeles Lakers offense only looks to get stronger with Steve Nash’s return from leg injury, and the Dallas Mavericks could face further difficulties down the road with Dirk Nowitzki out for another month or so.