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Friday, January 19, 2007

Mavericks Rout Lakers, 114-95

Prior to Thursday's Lakers-Mavericks game, Charles Barkley declared, "Dallas is gonna beat the Lakers like a drum tonight." Sure enough, the Lakers--fresh off of a hard fought win in San Antonio on Wednesday--were no match for the Mavericks. Dallas shot .545 from the field and grabbed 19 offensive rebounds in a 114-95 win. The Mavericks are 19-1 in their last 20 games and have won six straight since the Lakers beat them 101-98 in L.A., ending Dallas' 13 game winning streak. Josh Howard had 29 points and 11 rebounds and Dirk Nowitzki contributed 27 points and 10 rebounds. Kobe Bryant had 26 points and five assists in defeat.

Before the game, Bryant told TNT's Cheryl Miller that the four keys for the Lakers would be (1) ball movement, (2) crisp offensive execution, (3) keeping the Mavericks off of the boards and (4) limiting turnovers. The Lakers shot just .449, committed 16 turnovers and were outrebounded 53-28--in short, they did not do any of the things that they needed to do to keep the game close, let alone beat the league's best team.

The Lakers kept the game close for most of the first half despite their rebounding problems but once they started turning the ball over in the second half the rout was on; Dallas' 60-48 halftime lead ballooned to 79-57 midway through the third quarter and the Lakers never got closer than 17 points after that.

posted by David Friedman @ 2:49 AM

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