Mavericks take big lead and rally to hold off Lakers 109-104

LOS ANGELES — – Luka Doncic scored seven of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, Jalen Brunson added 22 points and the Dallas Mavericks rallied for a 109-104 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.

Dorian Finney-Smith had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Mavericks, who hung on to their eighth win in 10 games after building a huge lead over the struggling Lakers.

Dallas trailed 100-94 with seven minutes remaining before scoring 11 straight points in a rally started by Brunson’s fourth 3-pointer.

“At half-time, we told them, ‘They’re coming. LeBron is coming,'” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. “In the third quarter, LeBron put on a show, but we didn’t lose our temper. That’s one of the things we got better at, and in the fourth quarter, we got back to what we did at Golden State. . We held them to 17 points, and that’s pretty good.”

Doncic went 9 of 21 and looked much less sharp than in most previous games during his month-long scoring tear, but made enough big baskets to win it.

“We stuck together and just executed the game plan, played the game,” said Doncic. “My mentality is to close the game with the best shot possible. We executed the last stretch.”

LeBron James scored 26 points and Carmelo Anthony had 20 for the Lakers, who suffered their sixth loss in seven games despite erasing a 21-point deficit in just over 12 thrilling minutes at halftime. . Los Angeles managed just four runs in the final seven minutes.

“I don’t know if you can do a better job on Luka than we did tonight,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “Our guys really competed. Our assists really competed, but he had that stretch in critical time where he scored a couple buckets in a row. Not good enough. … It hurts. All those guys hurt there -in. We’re getting down to business.”

Despite a much better effort against Dallas than in its most recent games, Los Angeles lost 15 of 21 games to slip the seven worst games of the season below .500, even its position in the play-in tournament. post-season seems increasingly tenuous. Los Angeles is 0-3 since the All-Star break.

“We still have games to play,” James said. “Until you step on me, chop off my head, bury me 12 feet under, I have a chance. So that’s my confidence. We have to come here and win ball games and play better, but as long as we’ve got games to play, we have a chance.”

Two nights after the Lakers were booed by their home fans in a lifeless loss to New Orleans, James and his teammates had the crowd cheering for their efforts and their comeback – but the result was the same.

Dallas wrapped up a five-game road trip with four wins, but only after surviving a largely mediocre second half.

The Mavs took their big lead in a first half highlighted by Doncic’s one handed incendiary dunk on Dwight Howard late in the first quarter.

“I hit my head (on the edge),” said Doncic with a laugh. “We’re not going to talk about that. Let me enjoy the moment.

The first half looked like another wreck for the Lakers, who got three technical fouls for arguing amid their missed shots and faltering defense. Vogel, Kent Bazemore and Russell Westbrook, who missed eight of his first nine shots, were all hit.

But Los Angeles went 22-7 at halftime and tied Dallas with a cold shot on James’ 3-pointer.

ADVICE

Mavericks: Dallas got revenge for a home loss to the Lakers in December while Doncic was sidelined with an ankle injury. … Spencer Dinwiddie had 14 points and nine assists.

Lakers: They also waived two-way forward Sekou Doumbouya to create a second spot on the roster. … Avery Bradley missed his fourth straight game with a right knee injury.

DJ CHANGE

After essentially holding on with an ugly hand at the trade deadline, the Lakers waived disappointing center DeAndre Jordan on Tuesday and signed veteran point guard DJ Augustin and journeyman forward Wenyen Gabriel. The new arrivals weren’t in town yet, but should be available later this week.

ROUGH RUSSIA

Westbrook went 5-for-17 and missed all four of his 3-point attempts in the frustrating final game for the 2017 NBA MVP – though his 38 minutes were turnoverless.

“I have to be better overall,” Westbrook said. “What I’m doing right now isn’t good enough.”

FOLLOWING

Mavericks: Host Warriors Thursday.

Lakers: At the Clippers on Thursday.

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