After three years representing the NBA Western Conference in the NBA Finals and winning the last two straight the Los Angeles Lakers will be watching the Association’s Championship round from the sidelines this season after they were eliminated from the Post Season on Sunday afternoon by the Dallas Mavericks. The Lakers campaign ended with a whimper and not a bang as the Mavericks pummeled them 122-86.
Dallas shot a scorching 60.6% (44-73) from the floor and an incredible 62.5% (20-32) from three-point range. It was the Mavericks bench that provided the fire power in the game with Jason Terry knocking down a game high 32 points while Jose Juan Barea added 22 points in the win. Los Angeles shot an anemic 37.8% (31-82) and an embarrassing 5-24 from outside the arc. Kobe Bryant scored 17 points while Shannon Brown came off the bench with 15 points. With the victory Dallas swept the Western Conference Semi-Final series and will advance to the Conference Finals.
It looked like it would be a competitive contest in the opening period with Los Angeles holding the edge early and the Mavericks coming back to take the advantage down the stretch. Barea hit a shot nine feet from the hoop with 16 seconds left to play and Dallas was on top 27-23 at the conclusion of the quarter. The Mavericks took their game to another level in the second holding their opponents to just 16 points while they exploded for 36 in the period. The prospects for the Lakers to extend the series would look bleak as the game reached the half as they trailed 63-39.
Neither team gained or lost ground during the third and Dallas would hold an 86-62 lead at the end of the period. The game would become even more lopsided during the final 12 minutes of play until it mercifully came to an end.
Jason Terry scored 32 points, 4 assists, a block and a rebound while Barea had 22 points, 8 assists and 1 rebound. Peja Stojakovic added 21 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists while Dirk Nowitzki chipped in 17 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal.
Kobe Bryant put up 17 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist. Shannon Brown had 15 points, 3 steals, 2 assists and 2 rebounds while Ron Artest added 11 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom each scored 10 points in the loss for the Lakers. Dallas now awaits the winner of the series between the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder to find out who they will match-up against for a chance to go the NBA Finals.