How it happened: The Mavericks got their butts kicked in the second half, plain and simple.
The Dallas offense dissolved into dumping the ball to Dirk Nowitzki and hoping he would dominate. He did his part, finishing with 27 points and 13 rebounds, but got precious little help.
The only noteworthy thing scoring sidekick Jason Terry did all game was cheap-shot Lakers guard Steve Blake to start a brouhaha that resulted in four ejections. Terry, who was tossed for the flagrant 2 foul, scored only five points on 2-of-9 shooting.
Dallas never had much success stopping the Lakers, who scored 55 points in the first half and 54 in the second.
Kobe Bryant scored 28 points, leading five LA players in double figures. This was a laugher after Lamar Odom hit a couple of 3s early in the fourth quarter.
From that point on, the foolishness (on the floor and in the stands) was the only real entertainment.
What it means: The Mavs can forget about the second seed and homecourt advantage in the second round. The question now -- other than whether the Mavs can make it out of the first round for only the second time in five seasons -- is whether the Spurs or Lakers will be waiting. LA has pulled within 2 ½ games of the suddenly slumping Spurs.
Play of the game: Kobe Bryant’s steal to spark a 7-0 run in the second quarter, which gave the Lakers the lead for good, has to rank among the most spectacular defensive plays of his Hall of Fame career. Bryant sprinted over to deflect Jason Kidd’s pass near the sideline and keep both feet inbounds to save the ball while falling into the courtside seats. That led to Lamar Odom feeding Ron Artest for a wide-open jumper on the fast break.
Stat of the night: The Mavs’ losing streak against Western Conference playoff teams was extended to seven games. The first six losses in that streak were by a total of 16 points. This was the Mavs' most lopsided loss of the season.