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Lakers get back on track with 26-point destruction of Mavericks

Nov 25, 2012, 12:50 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks Getty Images

This is how it’s supposed to happen.

After a disappointing two-game stretch that had the Lakers questioning their roles and searching for answers, it took less than a full game in Dallas for the team to find its way. L.A. dominated from the start, and led by as many as 37 points on the way to a 115-89 total destruction of the Mavericks.

This game mattered for the Lakers, for a couple of reasons. One, it was nice to see a balanced effort from a rotation that went eight players deep and didn’t have a single dominant performance. Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, and Antawn Jamison all finished with 19 points apiece, and four other players managed to similarly end up in double figures.

And two, this is the same Dallas team that recorded an opening-night victory over these Lakers at Staples Center, in what was the first red flag during the tumultuous start of the season with Mike Brown beginning his second term as the team’s head coach.

Brown’s gone now, for obvious reasons, and Mike D’Antoni was able to flex the Lakers muscle on this night against a team that is truly inferior.

World Peace got things going for the Lakers early, beginning the game by scoring his team’s first 10 points. He was subbed out in favor of Jamison after less than five minutes, but that was D’Antoni’s plan with just about everyone, in order to conserve energy for a team playing its fourth game in five nights.

Jamison picked up where MWP left off, scoring six quick points before World Peace came back in to knock down a couple more three-pointers before the period was through. At the end of the first quarter, World Peace had 16 points in nine minutes on 6-of-7 shooting, and the Lakers had built a 13-point lead that was just getting started.

Kobe Bryant began the game in facilitator mode, playing nine first-quarter minutes without a shot attempt. He had two points from the free throw line, to go along with four assists and zero turnovers. The team is really much better off with Kobe running the point while Steve Nash and Steve Blake are out with injury, as his basketball IQ is second to none, which makes his reads while running the high pick and rolls that much more devastating for the Lakers opponents to deal with.

Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol got going a little bit, and Gasol got a few of those post touches he was clamoring for. Three of his seven shot attempts came on post up opportunities, and Gasol converted two of them — one with a sweeping left-handed hook in the lane, and the other with a back-to-the-basket baseline spin that he got to go with a jump hook.

The win was an important one for the Lakers — more in the way that it happened than the fact that it happened at all, because despite the impatience of the fan base, it is going to be a process getting everyone on the same page with the new head coach.

The good news with D’Antoni is that he knows what’s at stake, and has the same expectations of this Lakers team from the inside as those who are simply passionate observers.

“We should expect this every night,” D’Antoni said, via Lakers Nation. “And I think we will. I think once they feel comfortable with everything we’ll see this all the time.”

After dropping two straight and looking like a mess along the way, getting a much-needed win by crushing someone, anyone, is going to go a long way in making everyone believe what he’s saying is right.

  1. cosanostra71 - Nov 25, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    With the way the Trojans played today, LA needed this. Thank you Lakers

  2. dko83 - Nov 25, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    Mark Cuban should be given more credit for this destruction than the Lakers..

  3. BigBeachBall - Nov 25, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    Darius is getting shopped beore the deadline.

  4. jimmygrahamchrisivory - Nov 25, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    This is what they’re SUPPOSE to do.

  5. my2cents27 - Nov 25, 2012 at 7:18 AM

    The Lakers to trade Kobe. Get what ya can for him.

  6. omniusprime - Nov 25, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    Nice to see the Lakers can play big, now they have to do this consistently. Hey Dumbtoni we Laker fans expect this every night and if you don’t deliver we’ll be clamoring for your exit real quick. Dumbtoni better win a title with this talent or he’d better be toast if he doesn’t. Since the Lakers are only a .500 team right now this win is nice but I’m not convinced yet that this will be the norm. Go Lakers!!!

    • money2long - Nov 25, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      yes, it would be nice for the lakers to do this every night, but to be realistic, it won’t happen this way a lot. all that really matters is getting the W. people have to realize, even the teams who won’t make the playoffs or teams who fluctuate with playoff berths will put up a fight every night. some do fold however.

      the heat have had some tough games this year even if they are the defending champs. what matters is pulling out the win. the lakers have the personnel to have blowout nights, but to expect it is asking for too much. as long as they execute and play smart in the 4th quarter, the only thing people will remember down the line is the win.

    • mytthor - Nov 25, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      YOU are the stupid Laker fan Mark Cuban was talking about.

  7. lakerluver - Nov 25, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Nice beat down. Would’ve been more impressive if Dirk had played. However, Nash didn’t play either, so…Plus, I don’t think Dirk would’ve made enough of a difference for Dallas to win. Maybe the LAKERS would’ve won by 10 instead. The best thing I took out of the game was Jamison’s play. FINALLY, he looks like the Antwan of old instead of an old Antwan. He has been great the last couple of games. That’s exactly what the LAKERS brought him here for. Also impressed with MWP. He’s having the best season he’s had in a while.

    • zerole00 - Nov 26, 2012 at 11:05 AM

      I like watching Kobe play PG, his basketball IQ is definitely top tier and MWP’s 3 points are falling at unworldly rates so far.

      PS – You come off as a tool every time you capslock Lakers, seriously, we get you’re a fan.

  8. j0esixpack - Nov 25, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    If the Lakers keep playing like this, they have a shot at beating the Wizards too! Be proud LA!

  9. lakerluver - Nov 25, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    @omniusprime
    Dude, first you bashed Brown (maybe deservedly so). Now your doing it again with D’Antoni. What, do you only back a LAKERS coaches if his initials are P. J.? You are worse than the trolls who bash the LAKERS. The PJ era is gone and probably never will return. Why not try supporting the “current” LAKERS coach? Mike D. is a highly respected coach in basketball.

    • tfoz5150 - Nov 25, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      Highly respected where, Italy?

  10. eventhorizon04 - Nov 25, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    So the Lakers’ season has come to this – being proud that they were able to beat the Dallas Mavericks, who are playing without their only All-Star Dirk Nowitzki?

    • ron05342 - Nov 25, 2012 at 1:13 PM

      It’s just one game in an 82-game season, moron.

      Get over yourself, hater.

  11. magicbucs - Nov 25, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    I’m glad to see the laker fans come out when they beat or destroy a mediocre team without their star.

    Don’t blame your coaches for when you lose. Look at your players lack of effort and talent after the first 5-6 players.

    • socalgal64 - Nov 25, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      Okay. Whatever you say.

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Nov 27, 2012 at 6:23 AM

      Dallas? Mediocre? LOL!

      I thought you were referring to the present Magic team.

      That’s rock bottom mediocre.

  12. themagicfanguy - Nov 25, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Mike D highly respected? lol
    I’ll tell you where he’s not respected, PHX or NY. Hmm… Wonder why…?

  13. rodyaugu - Nov 25, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Were they ever on track?

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