A late-night West Coast Mavs game against the Kobe-less nine-win Los Angles Lakers. What could be better?
How about a Dirk Nowitzki game winner with 2.1 seconds left?
In their 10th straight win over Los Angeles, the Dallas Mavericks (26-21) defeated the Lakers 92-90, end a two-game losing streak.
In what what had been billed as the Dirk vs. Kobe Finale, ended up being a huge disappointment for fans of the Black Mamba. Before the game even started, the Lakers (9-38) announced that Kobe Bryant would be out due to a sore right shoulder. Mavericks point guard Devin Harris (toe) and center Zaza Pachulia (Achilles) also sat out with injuries.
While Mavs were unable to click on all cylinders collectively, individually they took turns carrying the team to victory.
In the first quarter it was Parsons. The Mavs led by as much as nine points before a 9-0 run gave the Lakers the lead with 3:08 left in the first quarter. Dallas came storming back with an 8-0 run to take a 32-25 lead into the second quarter led behind 11 points from Parsons within the first six minutes of the game. Parsons finished the game with 17 points.
Then, in second quarter it was the JJ Barea show. The Small Baller from the PR scored 10 of his 18 points in the period, but it wasn’t enough and the Lakers took a 58-56 lead into the half. Oddly enough, Dirk Nowitzki finished the first half with just 3 points after going 0 of 4 from the field with 3 personal fouls and a technical, but somehow managed to lead Dallas with a plus-15 net rating.
In the third quarter, Deron Williams took over. D-Will led the Mavs with 9 points in the period, including a couple of key baskets during a Mavs 9-0 run to keep the Dallas within one point headed into the fourth quarter. Williams finished the game with just 11 points, playing the majority of the first half with foul trouble.
Surely the Mavs couldn’t lose to a Kobe-less, nine-win Lakers right? Right?
Despite struggling most of night the Mavs went straight to their fearless leader to close out the fourth. Tied at 90, Nowitzki sunk another one of his signature, high-arching shots over Lakers forward Julius Randle to put the Mavs up by two points with just 2.1 left in the game.
“It was a great shot. It was extremely well-timed and I noticed after he hit he gave Kobe a little tap,” Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle said after the game. “One of the all-time great clutch players. Doing what he does. It’s amazing what he keeps doing, the way he does it.”
Randle missed a last second heave at the buzzer following a Lakers timeout, to ultimately seal the victory for the Mavs.
Up Next: The Mavericks take on the Golden State Warriors (41-4) tomorrow night at 9:30 p.m. CST on ESPN. The Warriors are coming off a 30 points win against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night.