Lakers: LA Mounts Ferocious 27-Point Comeback In Dallas To Eke Out 111-108 Win

LA has gone 4-1 in its last five games.

Today, your Los Angeles Lakers posted one of their most impressive victories of the NBA season, against a formidable Western Conference opponent, without their starting point guard, to inch closer to .500 and a playoff berth.

After falling down by 27 points midway through the second quarter of a crucial battle against the Dallas Mavericks and their high-scoring backcourt tandem of All-Star guards Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, LA pulled off a stunning comeback, powered by the offense of Anthony Davis and LeBron James, especially late, and the magnificent two-way play of my favorite new Laker, do-everything power forward Jarred Vanderbilt.

Things started out slowly for the Lakers, who fell into a 28-16 hole after the game’s first period. Dallas especially shone from long range early, besting LA 30-0 in its offense generated from three-point land to kick off the bout. Los Angeles generated a ton of its offense inside, chipping away at the Mavs’ sharpshooting edge with its size and paint presence. 

LA won, just barely, 111-108, to improve to a 29-32 record and leapfrog from the 13th seed in the West to the… 12th seed. Los Angeles is just one game behind the 10th-seeded New Orleans Pelicans, and has gone 4-1 across its last five contests (i.e. all its games played with its new post-trade deadline players available).

Los Angeles outscored Dallas 62-32 in the paint, out-rebounded the Mavericks 56-48, and held marginal advantages in assists (25-21) and steals (9-5). The Lakers ultimately went a lackluster 6-of-34 from deep (17.6%), while Dallas went 20-of-49 from beyond the arc (40.8%), but LA’s huge interior scoring advantage and savvy late play compensated for the Mavericks’ big three-point edge.

Davis was the MVP for LA, logging a 30-point, 15-rebound double-double, dishing out four assists, blocking three shots and swiping a steal to boot. He also picked up a critical loose ball off an errant Kyrie Irving pass, with 15 seconds left in regulation and LA leading by just three, to help lock in a victory for the Lakers.

James scored 26 points on 10-of-23 shooting from the floor (and big improvement over his 5-of-20 showing against the Warriors on Thursday) and 5-of-7 shooting from the charity stripe, grabbed eigt rebounds, passed out for three assists, and notched a steal and a block. During a big third quarter in which LA outscored the Mavs 31-20, James took a spill and was on the ground for multiple minutes clutching his right leg. Given that he has been dealing with a sore left foot for months, this was… a less-than-awesome development. He played through the ailment to help bring LA home.

Vanderbilt scored 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, pulled down 17 (!) rebounds, and swiped four steals.

Starting in the stead of the injured D’Angelo Russell, point Dennis Schröder scored 16 points on 5-of-12 shooting from the floor and dished out eight dimes.

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