Lakers’ Defense Powerless In 123-104 Loss To Mavericks
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DALLAS (CBSLA.com/AP) — Monta Ellis had 30 points and nine assists, Dirk Nowitzki was one of seven Dallas players in double figures with 11points and the Mavericks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 123-104 Tuesday night.
Ellis, Nowitzki’s new pick-and-roll partner, put on a show for Steve Nash, the big German’s buddy and old running mate. He was 11 of 14 from the field, made all eight of his free throws and had just one turnover.
Nash was scoreless until the second half and finished with five points. Nick Young led the Lakers with 21.
The Mavericks never trailed, led by 20 late in the first half and pushed the lead to 26 early in the second half after Ellis got them off to a quick start with a jumper and two assists, including one when Nowitzki took the pass and ducked under a defender’s arm for the layup.
Jose Calderon had 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range, including one that put Dallas ahead 90-60 with 4:33 left in the third quarter. The Mavericks were 13 of 27 from long range.
The Lakers tried to make it interesting with a 19-4 run, but DeJuan Blair stopped it by blocking a layup attempt by Chris Kaman, leading to a 3-pointer by rookie Gal Mekel after Nowitzki passed out of a double team.
Mekel scored again on layup off a steal from Blair, who had 10 points — all in the first half — and eight rebounds.
The top three scores came off the bench for the Lakers, who were blown out for the second time in two road games without Kobe Bryant. After Young, Jordan Farmar and Jodie Meeks had 11 apiece.
Jae Crowder kept the Lakers from getting any closer by going 4 of 5 from 3-point range in the second half, and getting a breakaway dunk on assist from Ellis. He finished with 18.
Nowitzki didn’t get his first points until he faked Pau Gasol and drove for a dunk to put the Mavericks up 59-39 with 3 minutes left in the first half.
When Ellis wasn’t running the offense in a first half that featured 21 Dallas assists against just two turnovers, Mekel kept it rolling with Blair, the backup center. Mekel had four points and four assists before halftime, while Blair had 10 points and six rebounds.
Ellis had two free throws to start an 11-2 Dallas run late in the first quarter, featuring mostly backups. Three straight buckets came on assists from Mekel — a 3-pointer by Vince Carter and consecutive buckets from Blair.
Carter hit a 3-pointer and a layup, and Marion hit a jumper in the lane to give Dallas its first 20-point lead at 57-37 with 3:39 left in the first half.
None of the Lakers starters were in double digits before halftime. Kaman had all 10 points of his points before halftime in his first game against the Mavericks and spending last season in Dallas.
Jordan Hill, who leads the league in offensive average, was virtually shut down. The Mavericks made it clear that any attempt by Hill to grab an offensive rebound would be heavily contested, putting as many as three bodies on him after a shot.
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