On fire in the third quarter, Dallas sank the Lakers
Between the petits fours for the inauguration of Dirk Nowitzki’s statue and the Christmas meal, the Mavericks still have to digest before starting this “Christmas Game” at home against the Lakers. So it took a good half-time for Jason Kidd’s players to regain their luster.
The Lakers, for their part, began the meeting like a commando on a mission, determined to make the best entry with the help of a LeBron James in bulldozer mode. The Lakers star chained four baskets before serving up Thomas Bryant for a dunk to bring himself to +11 (6-17).
Luka Doncic allowed the locals to pick up quickly (21-25), but on his return, LeBron James put pressure on the opposing racket, distinguishing himself with two left-handed finishes with best effect (30-41) .
On the other side, Dallas struggled to find a rhythm at the beginning of the afternoon. Luka Doncic even made two free throws, a sign of nervousness around. So the Lakers maintained their lead until the break following 3-point baskets by the Walker-Westbrook-Beverley trio (43-54)
The Mavericks finally regained their composure after returning from the locker room, which in turn relied on the address outside, with Spencer Dinwiddie twice, Christian Wood and Tim Hardaway Jr (55-58). It was then because of his defense that Dallas was able to continue his strong moment and kill the match in stride thanks to a 24-2. With a metronome Luka Doncic and a Tim Hardaway Jr who became unstoppable with 10 points in the series (84-65).
The tandem continued the show until the end of the third quarter as Christian Wood’s 2+1 allowed Dallas to end the period with 51 points on the clock and 19 lengths over the Californians (94-75).
It remained to calm the enthusiasm of LeBron James, who revived the suspense by scoring 11 points in the first five minutes of the last quarter (101-90). Then the locals trusted their hot hand, Tim Hardaway Jr and Reggie Bullock in this case, to keep the Lakers at a safe distance until the end. Meanwhile, Christian Wood completed his entire match with two dunks in a row, which helped kill the last opposing hopes (115-101). .
Winning 124-115, the Mavericks have now won three in a row. On the contrary, the Lakers continued to sink to their fourth straight loss.
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER
– Less than five minutes to turn the game around. It took the Mavericks less than five minutes in the third quarter to completely regain the momentum. Leading 63-60, Jason Kidd’s troops went on a blistering 24-2 run, led by a Doncic-Hardaway Jr. duo that crushed everything in their path. Euphoric in 12 minutes, the Texans passed 51 points on the Lakers’ defense, 8 more than the first half total. This is a record in the NBA this season and in the history of the NBA “Christmas Games”.
– The Lakers’ 20th loss. This Christmas, it’s a gift the Lakers could do without. LeBron James’ formation was blamed for its 20th loss of the season in 33 games played. At this rate, the Lakers are still spinning against the wall, and seeing Anthony Davis on the bench for a while, this total collapse in the third quarter and this feeling that LeBron James seems to be swimming alone is not nice the future.
✅ Luka Doncic. Like his team, he gained steam after the break and was a little disappointing in the first half. He let the game come to him to accompany Dallas’ record streak. 32 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists and +/- of +25, the best on the team.
✅ Tim Hardaway Jr. A third quarter to 16 points in which he seemed untouchable. He was hot until the end to finish with 26 points including 23 scored after the break! Another step toward the role of key player he should play on a more regular basis to support Luka Doncic. .
✅ Christian Wood. One of his best performances for the Mavericks. The interior delivered a full game, aggressive in defense and effective in attack to finish with a good stat line: 30 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks. He was vital until the end without letting the show down with an alley-oop and two consecutive dunks that delighted the American Airlines Center. .
✅ LeBron James. 37 years? 38 dots! Time doesn’t seem to have the same hold on his body as it does on the rest of humanity. The King released a big “Christmas Game” from his hood with 38 points on 13/23 shooting, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. He held his team at arm’s length for most of the game and was behind the rebound at -10 in the final action. Not enough to restore victory but at least to save the honor of Californians.
⛔️ Russell Westbrook. A whopping +/- of -30 for a game where his impact was very low as he took 16 shots, in a collective where only LeBron James took more than 10 shots.
Dallas (18-16): The Mavericks will prepare for the arrival of the Knicks this Tuesday (2:30 am).
Los Angeles (13-20): The Lakers will continue their five-game road trip in Orlando this Tuesday (1:00 am).