- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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How it happened: These certainly aren’t the Lakers we’re used to watching, but Dirk Nowitzki delivered a vintage performance.
Nowitzki lit up the Lakers for 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting, passing Dominique Wilkins for 11th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list in the process. He added nine rebounds and five assists during a win in which the Mavs pulled away in the second half.
The Mavs also got big games from their big men. Starting center Samuel Dalembert had 14 points and 14 rebounds in 21 minutes. Backup Brandan Wright scored 23 points on 10-of-10 shooting and grabbed five rebounds.
Those performances helped the Mavs overcome off nights by two of their best offensive weapons. Sixth man Vince Carter was scoreless, missing all eight of his shots from the floor. Guard Monta Ellis had only eight points on 3-of-13 shooting, although he did dish out nine assists.
What it means: The Mavs held onto sole possession of seventh place in the Western Conference, maintaining a half-game lead over the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns, who both also won Friday night. The 46-31 Mavs have won four road games in a row (sandwiched around a homestand) and are starting this four-game trip with two victories at Staples Center. The lottery-bound Lakers dropped to 25-51.
Play of the game: It’s a sight we might never see again: Nowitzki being defended by old pal Steve Nash after a second-quarter switch. Nowitzki caught the ball above the left elbow with Nash on his back after a pick-and-pop with Devin Harris. Nowitzki put the ball on the floor, spun and launched a pretty, high-arching, 15-foot turnaround jumper that splashed through the net to stretch the Mavs’ lead to four points.
Stat of the night: This marks the first time in franchise history that the Mavs have swept the season series against the Lakers.
20hMatt Walks, ESPN.com
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25dMatt Walks, ESPN.com