Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Lakers shot 62% after the first quarter. They led by 10 points in the second quarter. Pau Gasol had 17 points, the Mavericks were outscored 30-16 in points in the paint, and the Lakers had just two turnovers after the first half…then the second half came.

Suddenly, the Dallas Mavericks had found themselves. After a six-game losing streak, the only direction they had to go was up and tonight they finally rose to the occasion, and at the expense of the defending champions.

Dirk Nowitzki (14 points on just 5-15) hobbled every now and then, and Tyson Chandler (6 points, 10 rebounds) was fighting the flu. It’s a good thing the Mavs have such a prolific supporting cast. Before Jason Terry checked into the game, they had gone just 0-8 from behind the arc. They went 12-16 the rest of the way. It was reminiscent of the game against Phoenix earlier in the season – Dallas just couldn’t miss, and the Lakers have only themselves to blame.

Dallas attempted three-pointers of the wide open variety. And by wide open, I mean you could’ve parked cars around Jason Kidd (21 points on 8-12, 5-8 from 3PT) and Jason Terry (22 points on 9-15, 4-6 from 3PT) during their 14 attempts. That’s how much space the Lakers gave them. Instead of rotating their defense, or at the very least, contesting their shots, the Lakers merely watched as Dallas shot them straight of this game.

After such a strong first half in which he scored 17 points and earned his 13,000th point, Pau Gasol scored just six more points in the second. The Lakers’ offense became disjointed, which was a real shame because Dirk Nowitzki is no Kevin Garnett. Gasol dribbled around and shot over Nowitzki time again in the first 24 minutes and could’ve done so all evening if the Lakers had stuck to what was working.

Kobe Bryant had 21 points on 10-18, complemented by 10 assists. Lamar Odom went for 20 points on 8-14 and 10 rebounds. Yet other than the four Lakers in double figures, and Derek Fisher who chipped in nine, there wasn’t much from anyone else. The real difference in this game against Dallas wasn’t just the three-point shooting or the Lakers’ defensive failures. The difference-makers in this game were the reserves.

The Mavericks bench pulled together 57 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists. The Laker bench combined for 31 points (20 of which were Odom’s), 14 rebounds (10 boards from Odom) and three assists. To be fair, the Lakers are missing a key reserve in Matt Barnes, but unlike their major contributions to begin the season (and that was with Odom in the starting line-up!), the bench has just been filling in minutes during starters’ rest periods. Rather than coming in to extend a lead or to recover a deficit, Shannon Brown, Steve Blake and Luke Walton check in just to hold a starter’s place and that, simply put, is not nearly enough.

After such an encouraging win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Lakers let yet another game get away from them and are now staring at loss #13. On Friday, they face a still-Nugget Carmelo Anthony. The Lakers are well-versed in playing at Pepsi Center, but if their defense isn’t singing, they’ll be staring at #14.

Box Score
Pre-game Thoughts:
The Mavs have lost their last six games so if anything, they’re desperate to win, especially on their home floor against the defending Champs. Pau Gasol needs to find his inner defenseman to stop Dirk Nowitzki and Andrew Bynum needs to stay on the floor.
Half-time Thoughts: 56-52 – It’s been a well-paced game so far with very little stoppage. The Lakers shot 62% in the first quarter and they led by as many as 10 points, but Dallas kept the visitors at bay courtesy of the three-ball. The Lakers allowed 7-16 threes for Dallas, most of them wide open. Gasol leads all scores with 17, Lamar Odom has nine rebounds and Kobe Bryant has five assists. The Lakers need to continue to exploit their inside advantage (Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum already have a combined 25 points) and defend the long ball a lot more efficiently.
Most Thoughtless Player(s) of the Game: Lakers’ defense (or lack thereof) – slow to no rotations led to one wide open three after another.
Most Thought-filled Player(s) of the Game: Dallas bench – 57 of the Mavs’ 109 points. Enough said.

  • Guildtank

    A Dallas team with an injured Dirk, no Butler should never have beaten a near full strength Laker team…. wtf

  • unkn0wn

    Bi-polar a$$ Lakers team play good every other day, inconsistent, the Lakers are the definition of it. When are they going to put it together. Not good with three over .500 teams coming up.

  • daboss1848

    WE need to blow this whole team up and start fresh

    • daboss1848

      we need to start with the hack fans

  • Lakers_The_Truth

    FUCK LAKERS LET’S PLAY WELL!!!!!!
    I am so fucking sick and tired of reading Anna’s doom and gloom predictions. LOL

    • hoop247

      i fuking hate reading her stuff too, but its the best we got. she lowkey hates kobe. Shes stupid

  • Los Lakers

    There was a sequence in the game I remember clearly. Dirk Nowitzki shoots a three. Underneath the basket is Pau Gasol and behind him is Kobe Bryant. Dirk misses and Pau who could easily taken the rebound but he didn’t… Instead Tyson Chandler dunks in the rebound. Pau could have EASILY taken that rebound, but he didn’t, he didn’t make an effort it seemed like he didn’t even care he just stood there and watched Chandler dunk it.

    This sequence sums up the entire season so far. The Lakers CAN win, but they just don’t, its like they don’t care. It’s sad because this attitude will bite them in the ass once playoff comes.

  • SHOWTIME4EVA

    we are played out.and very predictable,like the team in ’03 when the spurs dethoned us.i think this team is going to come up short.we are going on our fourth straight trip to finals, I know this teams beat down and tired.but, WE have to keep cheering until there is nothing more to cheer about.COME ON BABY!LET’S MAKE IT HOME! Go Lakers!

  • MattOD

    Another game where we let guards shoot wide-open shots. No sense of urgency, no defense, just a night off. If Pau goes into halftime dominating, why don’t you go back to him on the block? Oh, that’s right because someone who is actually physical with him makes him stand out and shoot 15 fters. Pound the ball inside and force Dallas to keep their shooters off the floor. Of course if we have Luke taking back to back 3′s and just jacking up shots @ the end of the shot clock were not gonna get quality shots. This year I have learned two things so far… do not watch nationally televised games because we never win them and two once we go down in the fourth there isn’t that feeling of the Laker comeback I am so use to. It is more like who is going to be the next to hit a three. After the games and the next day, they all talk about how unhappy they are w their play but we see no difference… Better clean their act up quick cause that game 7 in LA was the difference maker for us last year not a game in Boston.

  • wbgk1979

    That’s it, i’ve had it with this lack of intensity!
    Time to trade.
    Oh and get Blake Griffin a purple and gold jersey!

  • Walton Hater

    Ok I’m not gonna just keep talkin about the same thing about how this team doesn’t play with any energy or effort . I just wanna know what has Luke Walton done to justify gettin about 15 minutes of game time. He can’t score he can’t defend and now even his passes are getting picked off but yet game after game he is back out there. At least Ebanks can give you some energy and he couldn’t play any worse than Walton and the experience would help him develop. Never realized how much Barnes would be missed.

  • 242LakerFan

    Hater, I couldn’t agree with you more. I don’t know why PJ has this infatuation with this guy. He shows flashes here and there, and he’s “smart” and “knows the offense”. Great. I’m smart and I know the offense, too. But you don’t see me playing 15 minutes that could have been given to a young, athletic, hungry, defensive minded rookie willing to do anything to prove himself, do you?
    Not that that was the reason we lost. Not entirely. I’ve been happy to watch the Lakers recently go with the game plan of getting the balll inside to Bynum and Pau and then kick out to the perimeter if necessary. And the defensive scheme of chasing off the three point line and funneling things to the middle was working nicely. The first half was like a scripted walk-through of this system. Beautiful.
    But somehow, occasionally (usually around the third quarter or so) this team decides, “Hey, this plan is working great…let’s start doing exactly the opposite and see how that works!”
    Great idea.
    So how’s that been working out for you?
    NWA

    • Happa 3000

      Agreed. Every time that Luke shoots I cringe. He has such a bad shot it’s sad. I always hear about the “other” things that he brings but they don’t offset the liability that he is.

      Also agreed with your overall summary. It’s crazy to watch the inside game work and then watch them go away from it?

      In addition I’d also love to see an “enforcer” type lay out some of these guys when they come inside for easy layups. It’s an embarrassment to watch these sub-par players have season highs in scoring on us.

      Dudes are playing with no passion.

    • 242LakerFan

      And while we’re at it, please do not allow Ron Artest to take more than two dribbles before he takes a shot or makes a pass. I love his effort and his defense and he’s hitting his wide open shots now, but I could almost cry every time I see him dribble more than three times because it inevitably ends in an off-balance, flat-footed shot that is more often blocked than not, a steal or a dribble out of bounds off his own leg. He is the worst ball handler on the floor at any given time.

  • David

    I’m so disgusted with the Lakers. We are at the end of January and we have ONLY 1 WIN on the road vs a team above .500. We can’t play defense, and have a losing record vs teams above .500. I predict we lose to Denver on Friday. Go Lakers!

  • rondo

    Knowing the offense means nothing,Luke don’t know how to play basketball. He needs to be a coach and teach the offense on paper. He has no D!

  • daboss1848

    It’s easy to blame Luke’s 0-fer performance (tangential role player), and “Gasoft’s” play (outplayed Dirk, by the way), and PJ as worst coach ever (forgot how many rings), etc.
    .
    This game was lost in the 3rd quarter when Kidd made KB look like Kidd on O, and KB made Kidd look like KB on D. Now, before I get bashed by the TheKobeNation crowd, let me clarify. I do believe the game plan was to have Kidd shoot – after all he is probably the worst perimeter shooting PG the game has ever seen (plz dont give me his FG career stats). On offense, KB became passive – maybe it was b/c of Kidd’s brilliant D (I doubt it) – multiple times KB left his feet to only then decide that he was going to shoot/pass/turnover.
    .
    I thought KB played a solid game in the other 3 quarters; problem is when you have your other players play avg. (at best) its hard to beat a team where their resident social security earners found the fountain of youth (I mean really?!?! Kidd for 8-12 with 5-8 from 3, and 10-13 for Matrix, a 1999 production, Terry always lights us up so no mention)

    • LC09

      okay old skool i see u!!! well put!!! bc the 2 guys u mentioned n than terry dnt usually shoot that bleepin good!!! and anyway anyone else to throw of the bus? i feel as though we need some more room for the TV’s and systems…watcha think?

      • daboss1848

        I just like to sprout nonsense and write just to read the dribble that I write.

        • daboss1848

          no u dont hack, ido.

  • lakerville213

    i agree with LOS LAKERS. they’re playing like they dont give a fuck. but they’ve won two titles in a row by pissing us off like this with inconsistent play, 2nd half collapses due to laziness, closing on shots when they feel like etc.

    but its like they know what they’re doing though. that arrogant swag which kills them in the regular season is what makes them a winning team during playoffs. we didnt have that in the 08 finals.

    pj may seem crazy to us right now, but at the end of the day he’s really crazy like a fox.

    btw: WE NEED THEO!!!!

  • GIVE EBANKS A CHANCE!

    One thing that I don’t like about PJ is he never plays his rookies. I’d agree with Caracter. But now since Barnes is out and Luke is not the answer. Play Ebanks. He can shoot, he can dribble penetrate, dunk, slash.

    I think there’s a reason why San Antonio is so great. Because they give their rookies opportunities. Ginobili showed up out of no where in his rookie year. George Hill, DeJuan Blair. They got playing time in their rookie year.

    Playing your rookies on a regular basis can benefit you especially the opponent doesn’t know much about them. Lakers have gotten pretty predictable on their offense. Kobe can’t keep up with younger guards any more. D-Fish is slowing down too. Only good news they have is Lamar. So why not give Ebanks a chance insead of LUKE!

  • sancho

    I like Kobe. I am very grateful and thankful for what he has done for us over the years. Am I the only one that has been feeling that we may be overpaying Kobe now and for the next few years to come? I ask this only, because I can see the decline in his play this season.

    • hoop247

      fucc u sancho, go back to mexico. Kobe will shit on all those motherfuckers watch.

  • kobefinalmvp2011

    lakers gave up in the 3rd quarter wtf

  • Chi-Town Walt

    Is it me or did Shannon regress?,why is luke even out there if he’s so smart why so many turnover’s late shot clock heeves r u serious luke walton if any1 is overpaid it’s him could have kept sasha-garbage ass least he hussles.

  • mr.laker19

    To close Games we need to see more of Odom at the three wit pau and bynum. Those three are great players. If Lebron, Wade and Bosh can play the majority of the game together, its no reason not to have our best five players on the floor at the same time.

    And Luke should not play anymore, seriously. Let Ebanks get his minutes or something

    Lakers are playing disgusting and something needs to change.

  • hoop247

    yeah let ebanks play, dude got game. come on phil enough on the weed

    • gameplan

      No! as phil said fluke is like his son LOL, enough for respect old man.

  • LakerMarc

    NAH………. AT THIS POINT IT DOESNT MATTER WHAT LAKER FANS HAVE SAID ABOUT THIS PERFORMANCE AND PLAY…ONE WORD….DISGRACEFUL!