Mission Accomplished for the Dallas Mavericks as they would go to the Staples Center and take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference Semi-Final series against the defending NBA Champions the Los Angeles Lakers. Wednesday the Mavericks held Los Angeles to just 32 points in the final 24 minutes of play to win the game in a rout 93-81. Dirk Nowitzki led all players with 24 points in the victory while Shawn Marion put up another 14 points.
Kobe Bryant was the high scorer for the Lakers with 23 points while Andrew Bynum recorded a double-double including 18 points. Los Angeles has not lost the first two games of a Playoff series since dropping the first two games of the 2008 NBA Finals which they lost to the Boston Celtics.
The two teams were close for most of the opening period but Dallas would close out the quarter on a 7-2 run and would be on top 26-20 heading into the second. Los Angeles would take the lead with 5:18 left in the second when he connected on a mid-range shot putting his team ahead 38-37. The two opponents would volley the lead back and forth for the next few minutes until the Mavericks took the edge on a Nowitzki bucket with three seconds to play. Dallas would head to their locker room at the half with a slim 51-49 lead as the contest reached the half.
When the Lakers came back to the court for the start of the third period they apparently left their offense back in the locker room as they showed no evidence of having it with them during the final two quarters. Luckily for Los Angeles the Mavericks were not much more prolific from the scoring end but Dallas still would hold the upper hand at the end of the third with the score 68-62. That would be as close as the Lakers would get to their opponents for the balance of the evening as the Mavericks soon were on top by double digits and remained that way until the final buzzer.
Nowitzki put up 24 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists while Shawn Marion knocked down 14 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and an assist. Jose Juan Barea came off the bench with 12 points, 4 assists and a rebound while Jason Kidd added 10 points, 6 assists, 2 rebounds and a steal.
Bryant scored 23 points, 5 steal and 3 assists while Bynum racked up a double-double with 18 points, 13 boards, 1 assist and 1 block. Pau Gasol also had a double-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal while Ron Artest added 11 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 assists. The series now shifts to Dallas with the Mavericks holding a 2-0 lead and game three to be played on Friday.