Rapid Reaction: Mavericks 99, Lakers 91
How it happened: Asked how the Dallas Mavericks could survive the absence of their only star, coach Rick Carlisle said the Mavericks needed to be a team of go-to guys.
That looks like a pretty smart solution after the Mavs’ shockingly convincing win over the Los Angeles Lakers, a loaded team considered by many to be the Western Conference favorites.
All nine Mavericks who played double-digit minutes scored at least seven points. Six scored in double figures: Darren Collison (17 points), Brandan Wright (14), O.J. Mayo (12), Rodrigue Beaubois (11), Shawn Marion (11) and Vince Carter (11).
The undersized Mavs, missing two 7-foot starters, managed to be respectable in the rebounding department and prevented the Lakers’ All-Star frontcourt duo from dominating in the paint. Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol combined for 42 points, a respectable total but one the Mavs could live with considering Wright made his first start at center and Eddy Curry played significant minutes less than a week after being claimed off of waivers.
The out-of-sync Lakers’ shooting woes certainly helped the Mavs’ cause. L.A. was 3-of-13 from 3-point range and 12-of-31 from the line.
Dirk Nowitzki watching from his couch in Dallas and Chris Kaman wearing a suit while sitting next to Mark Cuban behind the bench. This was an awfully impressive opener for a Mavs team that entered the season with the lowest external expectations in a dozen years.
Play of the game: After catching the ball on the left wing, Marion blew by Antawn Jamison with a baseline drive and dunked over Jordan Hill despite a foul. The and-1 slam answered a Jamison three-point play that opened fourth-quarter scoring and quieted a Staples Center crowd searching for a reason to get fired up.
Stat of the night: Collison surpassed Mavs point guard predecessor Jason Kidd’s 2011-12 season-high scoring total (15 points) at the 6:31 mark of the third quarter.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.
Play Podcast Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.