The Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers were knotted up at 70-70 late in the fourth quarter Monday night in a contest that seemed destined to be decided in overtime; when Derek Fisher drained a 27 foot trey with three seconds to play pushing the Lakers past their visitors 73-70. The game was a rematch of last season’s Western Conference Semi-Final series that helped the Mavericks win their first NBA Title last June. This game will not be shown on “ESPN Classic” as an Instant Classic; in fact except for the Lakers getting the victory both teams most likely will want to forget about this game a quickly as possible.
The Lakers shot an anemic 38.2% (29-76) from the floor with center Andrew Bynum leading the way as he racked up a double-double with 17 points. The only other two players in a Los Angeles uniform to hit double-figures were Kobe Bryant with 14 and Fisher with 13. Things were even worse on the Dallas side of the floor as the club shot an embarrassing 35% (28-80) from the floor and had just two players in double-figures for the night; Dirk Nowitzki put up a game high 21 points while former Lakers sixth man Lamar Odom returned to his old home and scored 10 points. The loss for the Mavericks ended a five game winning streak.
Both teams appeared that they would rather be anywhere else; doing anything else in the first 12 minutes of play. The period was filled with missed shots and turnovers by both sides and neither team could put together anything resembling a productive run. Odom gave his new team the advantage at the end of the first as he buried a trey with three seconds left making it an 18-15 affair. Pau Gasol connected on a mid-range jumper with 2:18 in the second putting the home team on top 35-34. Los Angeles would retain the lead as the game reached the half as they went to the locker room with the score 39-35.
The two teams returned to the hardwood for the third, however the home team must have left their offense inside the locker room as it was not on display on the floor. Los Angeles could muster just 7 points during the period; luckily for them the Mavericks were not much more prolific during the quarter but Dallas had the upper hand at 51-46. Although the Lakers regained their shooting touch in the fourth, neither team really seemed hungry enough to take this game over. However, Fisher pushed his team to the win with that huge shot with three seconds left.
Bynum recorded a double-double with 17 points, 15 boards, 2 assists an block and a steal. Bryant added 14 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals and a block while Fisher chipped in 13 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists.
Nowitzki knocked down a game high 21 points, 7 rebounds and an assist while Odom scored 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Los Angeles now has a record of 10-5 and travel to Miami as they face the Heat on Thursday while Dallas with an 8-6 mark will play Wednesday in the same building as they take on the Clippers.