Rapid Reaction: Mavs 123, Lakers 104
DALLAS -- Here's a quick look at the Dallas Mavericks' 123-104 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.
How it happened: The Lakers got lit up in the American Airlines Center like it was Game 4 of the 2011 Western Conference semifinals.
OK, the stakes weren't quite as high as that sweep finale that served as one of the highlights of the Mavs' championship run. And the rosters have certainly had a ton of turnover since then, with only three players (plus the rehabbing Kobe Bryant) wearing the same uniforms Tuesday night that they did during that postseason.
But the remodeled Mavs put on a clinic in beautiful offensive basketball that might have reminded fans of the franchise's best days.
As was the case during the Mother's Day Massacre, Dirk Nowitzki's sidekick led the way in this blowout of the Lakers. But Monta Ellis (30 points, nine assists) did it in significantly different fashion than Jason Terry, who caught fire from 3-point range that afternoon. Ellis was virtually unstoppable attacking the slow-footed Lakers guards off the dribble.
Ellis was 11-of-14 from the field, with seven of his field goals coming within eight feet of the basket. He was also 8-of-8 from the free throw line.
Ellis was one of seven Mavs who scored in double figures, joined by Jae Crowder (career-high 18 points), Jose Calderon (12), Nowitzki (11), Marion (11), Samuel Dalembert (10) and DeJuan Blair (10). The Mavs had 34 assists on 49 baskets.
The Mavs jumped out to a 15-point lead in the first quarter and led by as many as 30 in the third quarter, which allowed coach Rick Carlisle to rest his starters down the stretch, a big bonus in the first game of a four-in-five-nights stretch. Ellis' 31 minutes led the Mavs.
What it means: The Lakers (2-3) aren't any good without Bryant, but this Dallas team has some serious firepower. The Mavs will pack a 3-1 record for their short flight to Oklahoma City, where they'll play the Thunder on Wednesday night.
Play of the game: Not sure which fact about Nowitzki's first bucket of the game was more surprising: that it was a driving, two-handed dunk or that it didn't happen until there were three minutes remaining in the first half. By the time Nowitzki pump-faked Pau Gasol off his feet, took two lefty dribbles and finished in relatively ferocious fashion to give Dallas a 20-point lead, eight other Mavs had already scored.
Stat of the night: The Mavs had 21 assists and only two turnovers in the first half, in which they scored 67 points, one shy of their best in a half last season.
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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.