Lakers @ Mavericks recap
This has been a game that I have been looking forward to since the trade deadline. We are gifted the ability to see Kyrie Irving go against LeBron James in a meaningful playoff atmospheric game. Consider it a late Valentine's day gift from the NBA Gods. Unfortunately for Laker fans, newly acquired All-Star point guard D'Angelo Russel is out today with an ankle injury he suffered Thursday night in a win against the Golden State Warriors.
The Mavericks will be without starting forward Max Klieber continues to sit out with a (hamstring) issue that has plagued his season. Dallas sharpshooter Davis Bertans is out with a (calf) injury. The game will have playoff implications. Both teams have been underachieving this season, and both squads would want to avoid the NBA play in tournament.
Let's talk hoops!..
"Luka's Hot start"
Dennis Schroder would start at PG for the Lakers as head coach Darvin Ham would opt for the veteran guard over fan favorite Austin Reaves.
Vanderbilt would draw the assignment of starting the game guarding Dynamic MVP candidate Luka Doncic. Luka would open the game by drawing a foul on the lengthy Vanderbilt and splitting a pair of FTs
AD would get the Laker's first score at the rim on an excellent assist from Schroder. Doncic, per usual, would start the first quarter extremely hot, hitting on his first two 3-point attempts. LeBron would start the game off slow, missing on his first three attempts from the field but would draw a foul on a layup attempt and hit both free throws to get him on the scoreboard.
Midway through the first, Luka would knock down his third 3pointer of the night, scoring 9 of Dallas's first 12 points. Kyrie Irving would follow that with a 3 of his own as LeBron would head to the bench for his first rest of the night. Austin Reaves would provide much-needed scoring off the bench in the first quarter driving down the lane and finishing a tough AND-1 layup. Luka would come back down on the other end and score an AND-1 of his own, pushing his quarter total to 12.
LeBron would return at the 2:30 mark and head straight to the rim for the layup to bring the score 20-15 Dallas.
The Lakers would shoot an abysmal 0-10 from three, as Dallas would start hot from beyond the arc, shooting 7/14.
The First quarter would end with Doncic cherry-picking on the offensive end as LeBron got his layup attempt blocked by Tim Hardway JR.
Tim Hardaway Jr. turns it away and Luka beats the Q1 buzzer! @dallasmavs in front after the first on ABC! pic.twitter.com/8WxnRRfBMR— NBA (@NBA) February 26, 2023
Dallas leads 28-16
"Lakers look lost."
Dallas would open the quarter with a beautiful dime from Center Christian Wood to Kyrie Irving on the dive cut. Luka Doncic would start the qtr on the bench.
Kyrie would follow that up with a spin move that would make a ballerina jealous and a tough jumper over Austin Reaves draped all over him. Tim Hardway Jr. would hit a pair of three-pointers that would force coach Ham to call a timeout to stop the bleeding as he would see his team fall behind by 20. The Laker's sloppy play would continue with LeBrons errant pass in transition being turned into a fast break bucket from Kyrie. Followed up by a Christian Wood three-pointer that scrapped the ceiling on its way down, pushing the Maverick lead to 27 points. 48-21 with 7 minutes left in the first half.
Out of the timeout, the Lakers would hit their first three of the game showing a sign of life. Dennis Schroder would lose his shoe on the defensive end, come back down after slipping it back on, drive the lane with the hoop, and harm-scoring the FT.
Luka Doncic would finally re-enter the game at the 5:00 min mark, getting an unusually long rest. He would set up his teammate off a weak double team shown by LA and get Hardaway JR a 3-point bucket. At this point, the Lakers looked outmatched, and I would find it hard to believe they came back and win this game.
Bron would do his best to rally his team, taking the ball to the rim and getting himself to the free-throw line, eventually cutting the lead to 17. James would even pay his old friend a visit chasing down Kyrie Irving in transition and sending his shot into the Laker bench. Malik Beasley would hit his first three of the game bringing the Dallas lead to a manageable 14 points before the half.
Dallas leads 61-47: Luka puts up 14PTS 8REB 4AST, Kyrie 12PTS.
For the Lakers, LeBron has 12PTS 4REB, AD 11PTS 6REB 4AST
"The Lakers have hope."
Reggie Bullock would open up the third with a three-pointer, with the Mavs looking to start where they ended the first half. Luka would continue his dominance, blowing past LeBron on a switch and finishing with a nice touched right-handed layup.
Anthony Davis would start the quarter strong, getting to the line multiple times and showing some assertiveness for the first time in two games. After a couple of empty Dallas Maverick trips, Jarred Vanderbilt would get an easy bucket at the rim and cut the lead down to 11 points. The Lakers have hope. The Lakers would go on a 12-0 run behind the energy of their new defensive specialist Vanderbilt. Jarred single handily changed the momentum of this game.
However, the Mavericks would respond with a stop on one end and a Tim Hardaway Jr. 3 on the other, stopping the Lakers' onslaught for now.
"I HEARD A POP"
“I heard it pop”— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) February 26, 2023
- LeBron pic.twitter.com/bP9aLeRFvv
With the Lakers within 2 possessions of the lead, LeBron James received a bounce pass on a dive cut to the rim. He initiated a hop step in which it looked like his right foot gave way. He stood on the floor for a couple of minutes, and reading his lips, I could see his mouth. "I heard a pop" in my head. I thought it was a plantar fasciitis pop. Some will remember Laker legend Pau Gasol had this happen to him in a game vs. Brooklyn many years back. That injury had him out for at least a month. But we all know Bron and his superpower. He jumped up and ran the injury off. We will find out more post-game and update the recap accordingly.
Back to the action, Luka would get the Mavericks back on track with some bully ball at the rim. Hurling obscenities in his native tongue toward the baseline ref, demanding a foul call. Anthony Davis would muster position under the edge and get an entry pass for the easy deuce to bring the game within a single possession. The Lakers outplayed the Mavericks in that third quarter, only trailing by 3 points.
81-78 Mavericks lead headed into the 4th.
"AD IS A BUCKET"
LeBron would open the fourth, hitting a 3-pointer, showing everyone he is not human. Following that up with a crafty up-and-under move with an easy jelly layup. The Lakers take their first lead since 10-9 in the first quarter. Malik Beasley would connect on another long-range shot after Tim Hardaway Jr. smoked a dunk at the rim. Kyrie would return another layup at the rim, giving Dallas back the lead.
"You ain't S**** I'll F*** up!" -Austin Reaves to Josh Green.
Sauce from Austin pic.twitter.com/9l56iOOxTV— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 26, 2023
After having the ball knocked out of bounds and turning the ball over. Austin Reaves, the Lakers enforcer, went nose to nose with second-year guard Josh Green letting him know in the words of a wise man, "I ain't neva scared." Reaves would back his words up by extending the Laker lead to 3, scoring his sixth point of the night.
Luka would check back in at 6:30, as would LeBron James. This game is coming down to the wire. Justin Holiday would tie the game at 95-95 on a big three. Coming back down, LeBron would continue to show a masterclass in the post, scoring on a pivot in the lane. As soon as you could finish your chef's kiss for Bron's post-move, Luka would drive the lane hit a layup, and get fouled. Hitting the ensuing free throw. Mavs back up one 98-97. AD would come out of the time and hit a beautiful half-spin step-back jumper giving the Lakers the lead, but it would be answered by a step-back Luka Doncic three-pointer. DAL leads 101-98. AR-15 would answer with a three of his own, and a "forget about it" to the fans waving his hand in disgust. AD would slam home a putback putting the Lakers up 104-103. Then LeBron would spin baseline on a smaller defender finishing at the rim 106-103 Lakers. The Mavericks would have a terrible possession on one end and get a stop on the other. Kyrie Irving would grab an errant shot and put the layup in 106-105 LAL. AD hits his signature fadeaway jumper baseline over the outstretched Doncic 108-105. Luka would turn over the inbound pass, and the Mavericks would be forced to foul Davis, who would split the free throws 109-105 Lakers.
Justin Holiday would hit a corner 3 where LeBron conceded the basket bringing the game within one point with 5 seconds remaining. Dennis Schroder would go to the line and hit both free throws 111-108 with no timeouts remaining for Dallas. A half-court prayer from Kyrie would not be answered, and the Lakers would come back from a 27-point deficit earning a well-deserved victory on the road.
18.1 on the clock! AD extends the lead! @Lakers 108@dallasmavs 105— NBA (@NBA) February 26, 2023
Watch the final seconds on ABC! pic.twitter.com/jQU94l0jkm
- I am quoted as saying I personally was not in love with the Kyrie trade to the Mavs. I think thier play style doesnt 100% mesh and you could see late in the game their was miscommuication between to the two stars.
- Jarred Vanderbilt deserves the game ball he single handily changed the momentum in the second quarter and in the third. Great pickup.
- LeBrons foot is concerning although he was able to finish the game strong and lead the Lakers down the stretch to a win lets see if it costs them in the long run.
- Finally AD once again looked like a top 5 basketball player which ofcourse is awesome to see. On the other hand its fustrating to think that if he would just play this way all season maybe the Lakers dont depend so heavily on running LeBron into the ground.
Thank you everyone for taking the time to read this please follow us on Twitter and IG @GOODWORKSWORLD.com also check spotify for our audio companion which will be posted here later.
This is great stuff man. The turnaround time you have is crazy. Great read.