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Saturday, November 24, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Lakers 115, Mavericks 89

By Tim MacMahon

How it happened: The Los Angeles Lakers looked like championship contenders, not a team that hadn’t won on the road this season until Saturday night.

The Dallas Mavericks just looked awful, especially considering that this was the Lakers’ fourth game in five nights.

Give the Lakers credit for shooting lights out, but this was a defensive disaster for Dallas. The Mavs allowed 65 points in the first half – the most they have given up in any half this season – when L.A. made 8 of 10 3-point attempts.

This was a blowout before Kobe Bryant even scored his first points, a pair of free throws that put the Lakers up 30-15 with 3:00 remaining in the first quarter. He ended the game with 19 points.

By that point, Metta World Peace already had 13 points, almost equaling his season average (13.6) entering the night. World Peace scored the Lakers’ first 10 points, and the Mavs weren’t outscoring him until more than seven minutes into the game.

World Peace added only one 3-pointer in the second half to finish with 19 points, but the damage had long been done.

Antawn Jamison, the 36-year-old Lakers reserve forward who was averaging 4.7 points and 3.3 rebounds this season, had a double-double in the first half. He finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds.

Dallas also had a dreadful shooting night, hitting just 37.0 percent of its shots from the floor. It was an especially tough night for Darren Collison and Chris Kaman.

Collison had more turnovers (three) than points (two) and was 1-of-10 from the floor.

Kaman, who came off the bench after starting the previous five games, fouled out in 24 minutes. He had only four points and three rebounds and was 2-of-12 from the floor.

What it means: It’ll likely mean a long, painful film session Sunday for the Mavs. Coach Rick Carlisle was already concerned about the defense. With the loss, the Mavs fall back to .500, with the Lakers pulling even with them at 7-7. Dallas went 1-2 on its homestand. The Mavs have lost six of their past nine games since a 4-1 start. Dallas will be on the road for six of its next seven games.

Play of the game: Bryant made bad just a little bit worse for the Mavs just before halftime, drilling a 3-pointer from the top of the arc despite O.J. Mayo being close enough to smell Kobe’s breath.

Stat of the night: World Peace had 16 points at halftime, matching the Mavs starting five’s total.