Rapid Reaction: Mavericks 107, Lakers 95

April, 4, 2014
Apr 4
9:58
PM PT
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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LOS ANGELES -- The Dallas Mavericks came into Staples Center fighting for their playoff lives Friday. The Los Angeles Lakers haven't had anything meaningful to play for as a collective in weeks.

It showed for both teams.

While the Lakers were without their former champions in Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, the Mavs had their tried-and-true front man, Dirk Nowitzki, leading the way. Nowitzki scored 27 points to go with nine rebounds and five assists and passed Dominique Wilkins for No. 11 on the NBA's all-time scoring list in the process.

How it happened: The Player Haters Ball was back in session, for a half at least. The Lakers took a 54-52 lead into intermission and trailed by only four at the start of the fourth, but the Mavericks used an 11-3 run to open up the final period and secured the victory from there.

What it means: While there hasn't been any overt quit in these Lakers, with only six games left in the regular season and injuries continuing to mount (Xavier Henry was ruled out for the rest of the season Friday), you have to wonder how much fight they'll have left in them to pull out any wins down the stretch.

Hits: Jodie Meeks continued to show why he should be considered the Lakers' MVP this season, scoring 25 points on 10-for-17 shooting.

Jordan Hill had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Nick Young scored 14 points in 20 minutes off the bench.

Wesley Johnson had 11 rebounds.

Misses: Young came down awkwardly and suffered a mild right ankle sprain after grabbing a defensive rebound with 7:04 left and did not return.

Brandan Wright scored 23 points on 10-for-10 shooting for Dallas.

The Mavs outrebounded L.A. 52-38 and outscored the Lakers 64-44 in the paint.

Stat of the game: 5. After Steve Nash turned in a four-point, seven-assist performance in 18 minutes against the Mavs, he stands only five assists away from passing Mark Jackson for No. 3 on the NBA's all-time assist list.

Up next: The Lakers play a "road" game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. The Clippers have won 17 of their last 20 games and beat the Lakers by 48 points the last time the teams played. It could be a rough one.

Dave McMenamin

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Nick Young
PTS AST STL MIN
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 7.4
AssistsK. Bryant 6.3
StealsK. Bryant 1.2
BlocksW. Johnson 1.0