Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Lakers Escape Dallas With W

Without big men Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, the Lakers struggled in their last two games, dropping road contests to both New Orleans and Houston this past week. Last night, the Lakers faced another tough road battle as they travelled to Dallas to face the Mavericks. For whatever reason, the Lakers have had the Mav's number this season and last night was no exception. After Dallas went up 12-7 with 7:49 to play in the first quarter, the Lakers took control, going on a 51-19 run to take a 58-37 lead into halftime. The Lakers stretched the lead to 25 points (76-51) on a Kobe Bryant layup with 5:44 to play in the third quarter to nearly put the game in the late Chick Hearn's proverbial "refrigerator."

The Mavericks weren't done though, as they staged a furious 23-3 run over the next 8:08, to draw within five points at 79-74 with 9:36 remaining in the game. Within two minutes, the Lakers got the margin back to 12 quickly, but the Mavericks pecked away at it over the final 7:36, trimming it to just one point as Dirk Nowitski hit a three-pointer to make it 98-97 with 41 seconds to play. Lamar Odom and Sasha Vujacic made three out of four free throws the next two Laker possessions to get the lead back to four points, but Jason Terry then hit another three-pointer with just four seconds to play to make it a 101-100 Laker lead. Derek Fisher was immediately fouled on the next Laker possession and made one of two free throws. You may recall the Mavericks lost their last game against the Lakers in Los Angeles as Nowitski's possible game tying three-pointer came up short in overtime. Almost the same thing happened this time - the Lakers led 102-100, and Nowitski had a chance to win the game, but his shot was short and right and the Lakers escaped with the win. The win moved the Lakers back into a tie with the Rockets at 46-21 for the best record in the Western Conference.

As usual, Kobe Bryant led the way for the Lakers, scoring 29 points, dishing out seven assists, and making three steals. Lamar Odom was his steady self, producing yet another double-double with 17 points and 17 rebounds. Vladimir Radmonovic also had a double-double, posting 21 points and 10 boards. The Lake Show travels to Utah where they will take on the Jazz tomorrow night at 7:30 PT.


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