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Short-handed Lakers go small, blitzing Mavericks for 7th straight win

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersIt was the highest-scoring half the franchise had enjoyed since 2006. And James, who also passed Michael Jordan for fourth on the all-time field goals list, was the engine.“It started with that guy over there,” said guard Danny Green, nodding toward James in the corner of the cramped visiting locker room. “Even though he was sick, he set the tone early, pushing the pace, putting pressure on the rim, he set some good screens, got some stops.”James delivered the final haymakers, extending the Lakers’ lead over the Mavericks in the fourth quarter, helping compensate for Davis’ absence (bruised backside) and foul trouble for Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee.The closest the Mavericks got in the second half was 10, at which point the Lakers deployed an unusual lineup of Green, Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso and Jared Dudley. Playing small, the Lakers managed to extend their lead to 13 into the final quarter, at which point James (who has been dealing with flu-like symptoms) swept up the remainder.For the last 18 minutes of the game, Coach Frank Vogel didn’t play any of his regular rotation centers – only two-way contract player Kostas Antetokounmpo checked in with two minutes left in the game, the result already decided. PreviousRapper 2 Chainz and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban talk before the NBA basketball game between he Los Angeles Lakers and the Mavericks on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)DALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 10: Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after making a three-point shot against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on January 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)DALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers takes a shot against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on January 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsDALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 10: Dwight Howard #39 of the Los Angeles Lakers makes the dunk against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on January 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)DALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 10: Dwight Howard #39 of the Los Angeles Lakers makes the dunk against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on January 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)DALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles the ball against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on January 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd and Anthony Davis stand during a timeout in the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (39) and guard Rajon Rondo (9) defend against Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic (77) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)DALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 10: Rajon Rondo #9 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles the ball against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on January 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) passes the ball over Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic, left, and forward Kristaps Porzingis sit on the bench during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)DALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers walks off the court against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on January 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)DALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers grabs his knee during play against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on January 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)Dallas Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (11) gets the ball away from Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)DALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 10: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks takes a shot against Jared Dudley #10 of the Los Angeles Lakers at American Airlines Center on January 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)DALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers at American Airlines Center on January 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)DALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on January 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)DALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 10: Maxi Kleber #42 of the Dallas Mavericks is fouled by Rajon Rondo #9 of the Los Angeles Lakers at American Airlines Center on January 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)DALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 10: Maxi Kleber #42 of the Dallas Mavericks guards LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers at American Airlines Center on January 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)DALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 10: Jalen Brunson #13 of the Dallas Mavericks takes a shot against Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers at American Airlines Center on January 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) tries to defend against a shot by Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic (77) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle reacts after a call during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Dallas. Carlisle was ejected in the fourth quarter. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) tries to defend against a shot by Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)DALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 10: Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers attends a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on January 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)DALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers smiles during play against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on January 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (39) and guard Rajon Rondo (9) defend against Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic (77) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) shoots as Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic sits on the bench in the fourth quarter of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) tries to drive past Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) shoots next to Dallas Mavericks forward Dwight Powell (7) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) guards Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic (77) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) puts up a shot over Dallas Mavericks guard Delon Wright (55) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) shoots next to Dallas Mavericks’ Dorian Finney-Smith (10) and Luka Doncic (77) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)Rapper 2 Chainz and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban talk before the NBA basketball game between he Los Angeles Lakers and the Mavericks on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)DALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 10: Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after making a three-point shot against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on January 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)NextShow Caption1 of 33DALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 10: Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after making a three-point shot against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on January 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)ExpandDALLAS — Desperate times call for desperate measures.With All-Star Anthony Davis out and with his two remaining rotation bigs cooling on the bench with five fouls apiece midway through the third quarter, not even a double-digit lead felt safe.Perhaps nothing this season has defined the Lakers’ playing style quite like their size. But even without it, playing small-ball units as triage for their sudden lack of frontcourt depth, the visiting Lakers (31-7) swept the floor with the Dallas Mavericks 129-114 on Friday night in a touted showdown at American Airlines Arena.LeBron James was enough, blitzing Dallas’ vulnerable paint defense from the start for a brutally efficient 35 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists. With 47 points in the first quarter and 79 points by halftime – both season-best marks – the Lakers didn’t look like they needed Davis, at least on offense. 😊 @KingJames giving a fan a memory for life! #PhantomCam 📺: ESPN pic.twitter.com/LRpF9l3C3z— NBA (@NBA) January 11, 2020 Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs The Lakers somehow managed to pull off all of this without Davis, while facing a Mavericks team that’s still the top-rated offense in the NBA. Luka Doncic, a chief rival of James among early MVP candidates, looked reasonably mortal for a second straight game: the 20-year-old phenom had 25 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, but also six turnovers. The Lakers hassled Doncic early, led by the pressure of Avery Bradley (also playing through illness), and he missed his first six shots of the game.The Mavericks took their frustration out on their attire. After a missed free throw in the second quarter, Doncic tore the collar off his jersey, splitting it across his chest. After being ejected in the fourth quarter, Dallas coach Rick Carlisle removed his jacket (but left it otherwise intact) as he waved his hand dismissively while heading to the locker room.“I’m 20 years old, I’ve got a lot of things that I can do better,” Doncic said.Dallas shot just 40.6 percent, including an 11-for-38 mark on 3-point attempts. Missing Kristaps Porzingis, the Mavericks got supporting performances from Tim Hardaway Jr. (22 points) and Seth Curry (16 points).The Lakers next play in Oklahoma City on Saturday night. Vogel said he did not yet know if Davis would be able to play. With another effort like this from his teammates, he might be able to rest another day.“We’ve got a great team,” Howard said. “We’ve got guys who can come in and do just about anything, and we trust each other. And we just want to continue to keep it going.”Frank Vogel chats post-game with @RealAClifton about the 45-point first quarter setting the tone for the #Lakers. pic.twitter.com/CzKjYhQCUP— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) January 11, 2020center_img Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions “Just competitive spirit,” Vogel said. “That’s a challenge when you got a guy like Luka Doncic out there, not having any length at the basket.”The Lakers won their seventh consecutive game and improved to 3-1 against Dallas this season.Making just his second start of the season, Kuzma helped fill Davis’ shoes with a hot first half when he scored 21 of his 26 points. Entrusted with big minutes, the third-year forward seemed to find a rhythm early and attacked with the confidence that the coaching staff hoped might become more frequent this season.“For me, I’m a rhythm player,” he said. “When my minutes are high, I kind of produce. I’m just trying to be myself.”Related Articles “I don’t think people understand how deep we are. I was starting playoff games last year now I’m 14th, 15th man.” 🤣😂 @JaredDudley619 is a quote machine. @RealAClifton #LakeShow pic.twitter.com/rL71my1ycD— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) January 11, 2020 [email protected] (26 PTS, 6 REB) talks with @RealAClifton about Avery Bradley’s impact on Luka and the #Lakers collectively locking in on defense tonight vs. the Mavs. pic.twitter.com/2Mn78bYi1E— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) January 11, 2020 👑 @KingJames (35 PTS, 16 REB, 7 AST) moves up to 4th all-time in field goals made while the @Lakers improve to 31-7 on the season! #LakeShow pic.twitter.com/dozaFC6rwL— NBA (@NBA) January 11, 2020 Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers last_img

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