Sunday, May 8, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Mavs 122, Lakers 86
By Tim MacMahon
How it happened: The Mavericks shot the Lakers’ dynasty to death.
Dallas completed a stunning sweep with one of the most spectacular long-range shooting exhibitions in NBA playoff history. The Mavs made 20 of 31 attempts from 3-point range, tying a playoff record for triples. The Mavs made 11 3s in the first half to turn Phil Jackson’s grand finale into a blowout by the break.
Jason Terry, who is having a terrific postseason after vowing to make up for previous playoff failures, was simply unconscious. He matched an NBA playoff record by making nine 3-pointers on 10 attempts during a 32-point performance.
Terry single-handedly outscored the Lakers by a 17-16 margin in the second quarter, when the Mavs made this game a laugher.
The only shots of note by the Lakers were of the cheap variety. Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum were ejected for flagrant fouls in the fourth quarter.
In the early going, this seemed destined to be a classic Kobe Bryant versus the world game. Bryant had 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting in the first quarter, but the Mavs took a 27-23 lead with beautiful team basketball, racking up 10 assists in the 12 minutes.
Then Kobe got really quiet. He scored only four points the remainder of the game, missing nine of his last 10 shots from the floor.
The Mavs, meanwhile, had a few reserves who were red hot. Backup point guard J.J. Barea, who was on the business end of Bynum’s forearm shiver, scored a playoff-career-high 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Peja Stojakovic scored 21 points with perfect 7-of-7 shooting, including six 3-pointers.
The Mavs didn’t even need a typical Dirk Nowitzki performance. Their MVP candidate was an afterthought with 17 points and seven rebounds.
What it means: What an awful, unbelievable finish to Phil Jackson’s career, if this is indeed the end for a coach who won 11 championships. The Mavs became the first team to sweep one of Jackson’s squads. The Mavs, a popular pick to be upset in the first round, are clearly the Western Conference favorites now.
Play of the game: It’s hard to pick just one of Terry’s playoff-record nine 3-pointers, but we’ll go with the one he knocked with 6:19 remaining in the third quarter. That shot from the left corner came after the Lakers had built a wee bit of momentum and stretched the Mavs’ lead back to 25 points.
Stat of the day: The Lakers are 0-5 in elimination games on the road since 2003. The average margin of defeat in those games is 25.6 points.