Even on the second end of a back-to-back situation, the Los Angeles Lakers earned a quality win by defeating the Dallas Mavericks, 108-95.
Last time the two teams met, Dallas embarrassed Los Angeles by hitting 17 threes and winning by 14 points. This time, however, the Lakers were better equipped to defend the Mavericks’ three-point happy offense and holding them to only 30 percent shooting from the outside.
It was a total team effort as everyone who saw major minutes made impactful plays, most notably Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who continues to shoot well from distance. He scored 19 off the bench while Anthony Davis led the team in scoring with 23 points.
Head coach Frank Vogel applauded his team’s performance on defense after the game.
“I was really proud of our defensive effort and just competitive spirit. I thought we just really competed in whatever defense we were in,” Vogel said.
“It’s always a little bit of there’s two teams playing… obviously they didn’t shoot the ball as well as they’re accustomed to. Maybe cause of the back-to-back, but we did some things defensively scheme-wise that I hoped would try to keep us home on their shooters a little bit more –or at least closer to their shooters. We know they’re going to shoot 40 threes a game regardless. And I was just proud of about how we competed and executed the game plan.”
Dallas currently boasts the best offensive rating in the league so for Los Angeles to hold them under 100 points is definitely something to note, especially after they gave up 120 points to the Portland Trail Blazers the night before. The Lakers have seen some notable slippage in their defense the past couple of weeks, but their win against the Mavericks is a reminder of what they can do when they are locked in.
The obvious key to the game was slowing down Luka Doncic, and they managed to do just that as he finished the night with only 19 points on 5-of-14 shooting and went 0-for-6 on three-pointers. Avery Bradley played a huge role in limiting Doncic as he constantly pressured him fullcourt and looked to be physical with him throughout the game.
It was a much-needed win to close out the month of December because now the purple and gold get to enjoy a lighter upcoming schedule at Staples Center.
With consecutive wins under their belts, they will look to keep that streak going when the Phoenix Suns come to visit.