- Dave McMenamin, ESPN Staff Writer
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DALLAS -- The rims in the American Airlines Center have microphones attached to them with the volume turned up to ungodly levels to accentuate every "THWACK" of a swish or "THUNK" of a miss, with the sounds echoing through the arena.
Enough to maybe hear the clanks some 1,400 miles away back in Hollywood. Enough to leave Lakers fans silent with their own thoughts after a relatively promising 2-2 start to the season was erased by a real clunker.
But the even worse effort was on defense. The Lakers let Dallas run all over them as the Mavs shot 52.1 percent from the field, hit 13 3-pointers and Monta Ellis dropped in a game-high 30 points himself.
There has been so much talk in recent days about how the Lakers would balance out their 11-man rotation to have a potent offensive team on the floor, but Tuesday was a stark reminder that none of that matters if L.A. can't find a way to defend.
How it happened: The Lakers fell behind by as many as 20 points in the first half as they were completely controlled on the boards (a 29-19 Dallas rebounding edge, including seven on the offensive glass) and went to the locker room down 67-48. It got worse from there. The Mavs pushed the lead to 30 in the third and while L.A. went on a minor 17-4 run to end the quarter, it was never a game in the fourth.
What it means: The road blues are back for the purple and gold. After starting last season 1-5 on the road and the season before that 1-7, the Lakers have a new look this season but the same old problems stumbling out of the gate away from Staples Center. Not only have they lost both those games, but both were embarrassments with the Golden State Warriors winning by 31 and the Mavs winning by 19. There was already going to be enough pressure on the Lakers to win their home games while Kobe Bryant was out to keep their head above water, but if they can't even show up with competitive efforts on the road they'll be in big trouble real quick.
Hits: Nick Young, who boldly proclaimed he was going for NBA Sixth Man of the Year after losing his starting role to Xavier Henry over the weekend, led L.A. with 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting off the bench.
Misses: Henry scored only five points on 2-for-8 shooting.
There were a lot of misses, frankly. Henry can't be singled out as the only one responsible.
Stat of the game: 72-32. The amount the Lakers' starters were outscored by their bench.
Up next: It's Dwight Howard time. The Lakers finish up their three-game trip with a back-to-back against Howard and the Houston Rockets on Thursday and the New Orleans Pelicans and their frightening mascot on Friday.