Figure 1: Los Angeles Lakers’s LeBron James and Dallas Maverick’s 20-year-old star, Luka Dončić

The Lakers pulled off a mind blowing first quarter where they scored a season-high 45 points, despite the absence of star man, Anthony Davis, due to a bruised tailbone. They went into the break with a season-high record for most points scored in a single half with 79 points. This was their fourth meeting this season and the Lakers took their tally to 3 – 1 against the Mavericks (aka Mavs) at the American Airlines centre, Dallas.

The poor form of Luka Doncic in the first half led to an underwhelming performance for the Mavericks. In the second half however, the tides shifted, with the Mavericks starting off strongly. Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee both picked up their fifth fouls in the third quarter leading to defensive woes. The Mavs cut down the lead to just 10 points until the duo of LeBron James and Jared Dudley helped seal off the defence, helping the Lakers regain a 20-point lead. This was in no small part due to Kyle Kuzma, who finally got the opportunity to start and ended up with 26 points from 22 shots, six rebounds and two assists, having the breakout game many have been expecting all season.

Figure 2: The Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, who scored a season-high 26 points, shoots over the Mavericks’ Delon Wright.

Luka Doncic was so frustrated by the excellent defence that he ripped his own jersey after the first half. The 20-year-old was distraught after missing his free throws. He ended the first half with five free throws missed and five turnovers.

Figure 3: Luka Dončić after ripping his shirt out of frustration.

The win takes the Los Angeles Lakers to 31 – 7 record this season and extends their winning streak to seven games. They would hope to extend their streak to eight against the Thunder in Oklahoma City in their second consecutive game on the road, with or without Anthony Davis whose fitness remains a doubt


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