Thursday, May 5, 2011
Mavericks run Texas two-step on Lakers
By ESPN Stats & Info
The two-time reigning champion Los Angeles Lakers have dug quite a hole in their series against the Dallas Mavericks after dropping the first two games at home.
Unlike Game 1, when they coughed up a big lead, Wednesday the Lakers were caught playing catch-up.
There would be no Laker comeback as the Mavericks held them to 32 second-half points, their lowest total in the second half of a playoff game since 2004. Dirk Nowitzki led the way for Dallas with 24 points, his ninth straight playoff game with at least 20 points.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only three teams have come back to win a seven-game series after losing the first two games at home (2005 Mavericks, 1994 Houston Rockets, 1969 Lakers).
A key to the series so far has been the Lakers lack of scoring from close-range.
Andrew Bynum didn't get many opportunities in Game 1, and Game 2 wasn't much different. Bynum was on the floor for 78 possessions and had a touch on just 15 of them (19.2 percent), despite shooting 8-of-11 and scoring 18 points. In the second half, Bynum totaled just three touches on 33 offensive possessions, excluding offensive rebounds.
Gasol, on the other hand, might be losing touches for not going inside more. The Lakers shot 6-of-16 (37.5 percent) and averaged 0.72 points per play when Gasol had a touch outside the paint. When Gasol had a touch inside the paint, the Lakers shot 7-of-10 (70.0 percent) and averaged 1.31 points per play. Fewer than half of Gasol's touches came inside the paint.
Kobe Bryant also struggled to penetrate the Mavericks defense. Against the New Orleans Hornets this postseason, Bryant averaged seven field goal attempts within 10 feet of the basket and shot 58.1 percent on those attempts. In two games against the Mavericks, Bryant has shot just seven times within 10 feet, going 2-of-7 (28.6 percent) on those shots.
Instead the Lakers put up 20 three-point attempts, but made only two as they missed their first 15. In the past 20 seasons, no team has attempted 20 three-pointers and shot as low as a percentage as the Lakers did Wednesday (10 percent).
The Mavericks' depth has also been a big difference maker this series as their bench has outscored the Lakers' bench 70-37 through two games. On Wednesday, J.J. Barea scored 12 points to match the entire Lakers' bench by himself.