Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson must have been feeling very good about his squad a little less than halfway through the fourth quarter as his team played the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Friday night. Jackson had gone with a big lineup starting Lamar Odom for suspended veteran forward Ron Artest and his club led the Mavericks with 7:05 left in the game 81-73 when reserve guard Steve Blake drained an outside shot. However that good feeling would not last for long as the Mavericks would go on a 15-8 run to overtake the Lakers and would end up winning the contest 98-82.
Dirk Nowitzki would once again lead the way for Dallas in the victory dropping a game high 32 points for the evening while Jason Terry came off the bench and added 23 points. Andrew Bynum paced Los Angeles as the center recorded a double-double with 21 points while Odom had 18 in the loss. Dallas takes a 3-0 series lead over the defending NBA Champions with the fourth game of the match-up to be played in Dallas.
Both teams came out shooting during the opening period with the Mavericks taking the lead at the end of the quarter by the score of 29-27 as Peja Stojakovic knocked down an outside shot with 53 seconds remaining. Los Angeles would trail for most of the second but would go on top 46-45 as Bynum hit a shot with 2:12 left in the period. Shannon Brown split a pair at the line with all zeroes on the clock and as the two teams left the floor when the game reached the half the Lakers advantage was 51-47.
Los Angeles controlled the tempo early in the third but the Mavericks would come back and knot up the score at 62-62 with 3:13 to play in the quarter. The Lakers would get momentum back on their side down the stretch and would hold the edge at 72-66 at the end of the period. Los Angeles looked like they were on their way to their first victory in the series but the surge by Dallas left the Lakers flat and they never came close to recovering.
Nowitzki scored 32 points, 9 rebounds, an assist and a block while Terry came off the bench with 23 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Stojakovic had 15 points and 3 rebounds while Jason Kidd added 11 points, 9 assists, 4 rebounds and 1 block.
Bynum had a double-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds, an assist and a steal in the Lakers loss. Odom scored 18 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block and 1 steal while Kobe Bryant put up 17 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and a steal. Pau Gasol added 12 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists while Brown chipped in 10 points and had 3 rebounds. Dallas could close out the series on Sunday as the two team meet again for game four.