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Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Mavs 123, Lakers 104

By Tim MacMahon



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.