Lakers can't change Mavs' game

Updated: May 3, 2011, 3:59 AM ET
By Dave McMenamin | ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- Every time one of these perplexing losses has occurred in the past several seasons, the Lakers have shot back against the critics, but there weren't any excuses left in their quiver after their 96-94 Game 1 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday.

Can't blame it on Kobe Bryant's bum ankle -- he was dominant, scoring a game-high 36 points on 14-for-29 shooting.

Can't peg it on Pau Gasol -- he flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 15 points, 11 rebounds and ...

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