2011 NBA Playoffs: Lakers Fall To Mavericks, 98-92, Down 3-0 In The Series

Ron Artest is suspended for Game 3.

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2011 NBA Playoffs: Lakers Fall Against Mavs, 98-92, Down In The Series 3-0

Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - If the Los Angeles Lakers are to capture their third straight championship, they'll have to do something never before accomplished in NBA history -- rally from a 3-0 series deficit in the playoffs.

Dirk Nowitzki scored a game-high 32 points and put in the go-ahead basket with 83 seconds remaining, leading the way in a 98-92 Game 3 victory that has the Dallas Mavericks on the brink of the Western Conference finals.

Jason Terry scored 23 points, including four clutch free throws in the closing seconds for Dallas, which trailed by eight points early in the fourth quarter but ended the game on a 17-5 run to inch closer to advancing.

"We hung in there and kept battling," Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle said. "Dirk Nowitzki made it happen. Just about everything that happened down the stretch was a direct result of him either scoring the ball or making a play."

Andrew Bynum led the Lakers with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Kobe Bryant totaled 17 points and six assists for the two-time defending champions.

LA will try to avoid a sweep at American Airlines Center on Sunday, and head coach Phil Jackson will certainly need to address the team's fourth quarter woes in order to pull off a historic turnaround.

In losing the first two games at home, the Lakers scored a combined 35 points in the final stanza, and on Friday they made 36 percent from the field over the final 12 minutes after hitting 52 percent over the first three quarters.

"They were better finishing the games out than we were, so that's a big disappointment to us. But we still believe we're going to win the next game, and we'll go from there," Jackson said.

A basket by Shannon Brown 2 1/2 minutes into the fourth had the visitors on top, 79-71, before another collapse inexplicably began.

The Lakers failed to extend the lead on their next three possessions, and the Mavs -- sparked by Peja Stojakovic's 11 fourth-quarter points -- chipped away at the deficit, eventually pulling ahead, 88-87, on two Nowitzki free throws with 2:40 showing.

Lamar Odom, plugged into the starting lineup due to the suspension of Ron Artest, got a turnaround to fall a minute later to tie things, 91-91.

Nowitzki then took his defender off the dribble and got a left-handed runner to fall with 1:23 on the clock.

Odom tried a short jumper on the left block the next time down and was short, and the Mavericks extended their next touch when Terry saved Stojakovic's missed leaner from going out of bounds.

With the shot clock winding down, Derek Fisher fouled Terry away from the basket, and the super sub made both free throws with 18.7 seconds left.

The Lakers called timeout and inbounded the ball on their offensive end, but Fisher's pass fell off the hands of Odom and out of bounds. Terry sank two more freebies with 16.6 ticks remaining, and the Mavericks held on from there, much to the delight of the record crowd of 21,156.

"We're not good enough to coast or relax or anything," Nowitzki said. "We've got to go for it on Sunday with the same hype from the crowd."

Both teams shot over 52 percent in a back-and-forth first quarter, which ended with the Mavs holding a slim 29-27 lead.

Offense was tougher to come by in the second stanza, and the Lakers ended the half on a 13-3 run over the final 4:03. Brown's free throw with under a second to play provided LA with a 51-47 edge.

The Lakers never trailed in the third, holding Dallas to five field goals in the frame. Despite the defensive presence, their largest lead was seven, 58-51, coming on a Fisher three-pointer less than four minutes in.

The Mavs promptly called a timeout and scored eight of the next 10 points to stay close, and were within 72-66 heading to the final stanza.

Game Notes

Dallas outscored the Lakers at the free throw line, 24-11, and shot 12-of-29 from three-point range compared to LA's 3-for-13 showing from long range...Odom ended with 18 points in a game-high 42-plus minutes...Pau Gasol chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers... Artest was suspended by the NBA for his closeline of Mavs guard J.J. Barea late in Wednesday's loss...Stojakovic chipped in 15 points for Dallas, which got 11 points and nine assists from Kidd...The teams have met three times previously in the playoffs with the Lakers taking all three sets.

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Lakers Vs. Mavericks, Game 3: Lamar Odom To Start, Says Odom

With Ron Artest out Friday night, the Lakers have some options to replace their starting small forward for Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinals series against the Dallas Mavericks. This morning's Lakers game notes listed Shannon Brown as a probable starter at shooting guard with Kobe Bryant moving to shooting guard, but it appears the Lakers are going to start an even bigger lineup, starting Lamar Odom instead. Per Mike Trudell of NBA.com:

While Phil Jackson declined to definitively state who would replace Ron Artest — suspended for one game after a blow to the head of J.J. Barea in L.A.’s Game 2 loss to Dallas — in the starting line up, Odom said that it would be him after the team’s Friday morning shootaround.

The big man trio of Odom, Andrew Bynum, and Pau Gasol started six regular season games together last season, and the team went 5-1 in those games. Tonight's 6:30 p.m. PDT game will be televised by ESPN.

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation’s playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Mavericks, Game 3: With Ron Artest Suspended, Lakers List Shannon Brown As Probable Starter At Shooting Guard, With Kobe Bryant At Small Forward

The Lakers have a daunting task ahead of them as they will battle the Mavericks in Dallas for two games this weekend, already down 0-2 in their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series. Ron Artest has been suspended for Game 3, Friday night in Dallas at 6:30 p.m. PDT on ESPN, for his hands to the face of Jose Barera in the final minute of Game 2. In his place, it appears the Lakers might start Shannon Brown, but at shooting guard, with Kobe Bryant moving to small forward.

Artest was one of six Lakers to play all 82 games this season, as the Lakers had a remarkably consistent lineup all season. Derek Fisher, Bryant, Artest, and Gasol started all 82 games, with Lamar Odom, another 82-gamer, switching between starting and coming off the bench depending on Andrew Bynum's health. Brown also played all 82 games, all of the bench. Another option for the Lakers to start in place of Artest could be forward Matt Barnes, who has four points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes during this series. Here are the probable starters per the team game notes for tonight's Game 3:

Lakers

  • Point Guard: Derek Fisher
  • Shooting Guard: Shannon Brown
  • Small Forward: Kobe Bryant
  • Power Forward: Pau Gasol
  • Center: Andrew Bynum

Mavericks

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation’s playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Mavericks Vs. Lakers: Is Dirk Nowitzki Outplaying Kobe Bryant?

In his mind at least, Kobe Bryant is the best player on the court no matter who the Lakers are playing. But he hasn't looked like the Kobe Bryant we have all gotten used to very often in this NBA Playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks, and the question must seriously be asked: Is Kobe Bryant being outplayed in this series by Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki? Let me take off my writer's hat and put on my accountant's see-thru green visor thingy and crunch some numbers.

Wins:

The easiest thing to compare the two players on is the success of the teams that they are leading. This category is obviously in favor of Dirk, because his Mavs hold a 2-0. In this most rudimentary form of comparison, advantage Dirk.

Scoring:

Offense in general is way too broad of a category, so we're going to break down it down in a few different ones. The first one is shooting the ball, because the best skill each of these players possess is putting the biscuit in the basket. Kobe is averaging an eye-popping 29.5 ppg in the first two games, but on just 47% shooting from the floor, including just 5-14 from behind the arc.

Dirk isn't averaging quite as many points as Kobe (26 ppg) but he is doing it in a much more efficient manner. He's shooting just about 53% from the field, and a ridiculous 60% from behind the arc. Kobe is scoring more, but Dirk is getting it in a much more team-friendly way. Advantage Dirk.

Getting Others Involved:

Neither one of these players is particularly adept at getting their teammates involved, so we'll look at their assist/turnover ratio. So far in this series, Kobe's ratio is 3/4, which is not very good. While Dirk's ratio is 5/2, which is above average. Kobe plays shooting guard and has the ball in his hands a lot more often than Dirk, so the turnovers are understandable, but at the same time, his assists need to be higher. Going throughout an entire game without recording a single assist for someone who has the ball as much as Kobe and draws as much attention as he does in inexcusable. Advantage Dirk.

Defense:

Kobe has had the much easier assignment this series, matching up with DeShawn Stevenson, while Dirk has to play against Pau Gasol. Kobe has a much better reputation as a defender than Dirk, but you can argue that Dirk is actually playing better. DeShawn Stevenson isn't playing out of his mind, but he is playing above expectations. While Gasol, on the other hand, is having the kind of series that is making people question his toughness again. Advantage Dirk.

Overall:

I don't really have to level this judgment, do I? Dirk has one over Kobe, at least in my opinion, in almost every regard. But like I said up top, the most important thing that he has over Kobe is team success, and that is why the Mavericks have a 2-0 lead over the Lakers.

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Lakers Vs. Mavericks: Kobe Bryant Set To Pass Shaquille O'Neal For Third On NBA Playoff Scoring List

Whether or not the Lakers win Friday night in Dallas to make this a playoff series again, Kobe Bryant at some point, likely early in Game 3 will pass former teammate Shaquille O'Neal for third place on the all-time NBA playoff scoring list. With the Lakers down 0-2 to the Mavericks, I'm sure individual scoring marks are the last thing on Bryant's mind. But with Kobe only two points behind Shaq, and with Bryant's active streak of 157 consecutive playoff games with 10 or more points, O'Neal is definitely getting passed tonight.

All-Time NBA Playoffs Scoring Leaders
Rank Player Points Games PPG
1 Michael Jordan 5,987 179 33.4
2 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar    
5,762 237 24.3
3 Shaquille O'Neal 5,248 214 24.5
4 Kobe Bryant
5,246 206 25.5
5 Karl Malone
4,761 193 24.7

O'Neal has yet to play a playoff game for the Celtics. Shaq is also up next for Kobe on the all-time regular season scoring list. Bryant moved up this season from 12th to sixth all-time in scoring in the NBA with 27,868 points. He is 724 points behind O'Neal for fifth place.

Among all players in NBA history with 2,500 points or more in the playoffs, only five have scored more per game in their career than Bryant. One of them happens to be in this series, as Dirk Nowitzki has a 25.7 per game average, good for fifth. The others are Jordan (33.4), Jerry West (29.1), Elgin Baylor (27.0), and Hakeem Olajuwon (25.9).

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation’s playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Mavericks Vs. Lakers: Ron Artest, Phil Jackson, Lamar Odom And Kobe Bryant React To Artest's Suspension For Game 3.

We now know that Ron Artest will not be available for the Lakers begin their climb out of the 0-2 hole in Dallas on Friday. How that will change the Lakers gameplan, both on the offensive and defensive ends, remains to be seen. Of course, the Lakers were asked all sorts of questions about the suspension at practice, and this is how they responded:

I'm just ready to move forward and play basketball, we got a big game tomorrow.

Phil Jackson:

Ron was really trying to work hard, he got an offensive foul on a rebounding situation right before that where he chased the ball down and in the process kind of ran Marion into the bench. So I could see that he was getting animated about losing, and you know, those are things that we have to kind of watch.

Kobe Bryant, when asked what the team would have to do with Ron Artest unavailable:

Same thing we have to so with him, defend and rebound the ball.

Lamar Odom:

We'll have to be careful what we do on the court, decisions that we make...and his presence will be missed.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Lakers Vs. Mavericks: Game 3 Preview

After the Lakers lost the first two games of their NBA Western Conference semifinals at home to the Mavericks, perhaps a trip on the road is just what they need. Down 0-2 in their best-of-seven NBA playoff series, the Lakers begin their quest for an improbable comeback Friday night in Dallas. Here are the relevant details of Game 3:

Who: No. 2 seed Lakers (57-25), No. 3 seed Mavericks (57-25)

What: 2011 Western Conference Semifinals, Game 3; Dallas leads best-of-seven series, 2-0

Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas

When: 6:30 p.m. PDT

TV: ESPN

So You're Saying There's A Chance: The Lakers dropped the first two games at home in a playoff series for the first time since the 1977 Western Conference Finals to Portland, a span of 60 such playoff series for the Lakers. Of the previous 18 teams in NBA history to drop the first two games of a best-of-seven series at home, only three have won the series: the 1969 Lakers (against San Francisco, division semifinals), 1994 Rockets (vs. Phoenix, conference semifinals), and the 2005 Mavericks (vs. Houston, first round).

Trust Issues: After Game 2, center Andrew Bynum was a frustrated man, and for good reason. Of the Lakers' 78 offensive possessions on Wednesday, Bynum touched the ball on 15 of them. He did manage 18 points and 13 rebounds, but was mad about defense, and said the team had "trust issues." At Thursday's practice, Bynum's comments were downplayed, but coach Phil Jackson noted the importance of execution and defensive responsibilities, saying "Andrew, if his guy get's five dunks in the process of coming over to help, he has to come over and help a sixth time."

Referees: Game 3 referees will be Derrick Stafford, Ed Malloy, and Tom Washington, per Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register.

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation’s playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Mavericks Vs. Lakers: Phil Jackson Is Still Confident

The Lakers are down 0-2 as their second round series against the Dallas Mavericks. Nobody would blame them if they didn't have a ton of confidence heading into Game 3, because frankly, the Mavericks have made them look pretty crummy over the course of the first two games. But Phil Jackson is never someone who is lacking in confidence, and based on what he had to say in advance of this game, that continues to be the case; via Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles times.

When asked about the trust issues that Andrew Bynum alluded to after Game 2, Jackson played it off in his typically playful fashion.

“I thought he was speaking about trusses, and my dad wore a truss," Jackson said. "I thought that’s what he was speaking about. I don’t know the trust issue.”

Good one, Phil. When asked if he had coached his last game at the Staples Center, Jacson's response was a little bit more succinct.

"We'll be back Tuesday," he said.

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Lakers Vs. Mavericks, Game 3: Pau Gasol On Trial

Pau Gasol's place in Lakerdom depends on his play against Dallas on Friday night.

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Lakers Vs. Mavericks: Ron Artest Suspended For Game 3

The Los Angeles Lakers have a tall order ahead of them, down 0-2 to the Dallas Mavericks in their Western Conference semifinals, and they're task got tougher today. Forward Ron Artest has been suspended for Game 3 by the NBA for swinging his arm and striking the face of J.J. Barea in the final minute of Game 2. The play happened with 24.4 seconds left in the Lakers' 93-81 loss.

Artest received a technical foul on the play, which was his second technical foul of the game and triggered his ejection. Artest has averaged 6.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in the first two games of the series. It is expected that Matt Barnes would start in place of Artest in Game 3. Artest was one of six Lakers to play all 82 games this season.

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation’s playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Playoffs: Lakers Vs. Mavericks Series Schedule, Game 3 Friday On ESPN

The Lakers face a daunting task, needing to win four of the final five games of their Western Conference semifinals with the Mavericks, with the next two games being played in Dallas. The Lakers lost again in Game 2 to Dallas 93-81, falling behind 0-2 in their best-of-seven NBA playoff series. The series resumes Friday night with Game 3 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, to be televised on ESPN. Here is the series schedule (all times PDT):

  • Game 1: Mavericks 96, Lakers 94
  • Game 2: Mavericks 93, Lakers 81
  • Game 3: Friday, 6:30 p.m. at Dallas (ESPN)
  • Game 4: Sunday, 12:30 p.m. at Dallas (ABC)
  • Game 5*: Tuesday, May 10, TBD at Los Angeles (TNT)
  • Game 6*: Thursday, May 12, TBD at Dallas (ESPN)
  • Game 7*: Sunday, May 15, 12:30 p.m. at Los Angeles (ABC)

*if necessary

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation’s playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Mavericks Vs. Lakers: Reaction To Game 2 Loss From Silver Screen And Roll

The Los Angeles Lakers lost Game 2 of their series against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday and now face a pretty daunting 0-2 hole as they head to Dallas. As difficult as this is for those in clubhouse, nobody is taking these losses harder than the guys over at our Lakers blog, Silver Screen And Roll. For them, this isn't just a lost season, it's potentially signaling the end of an era.

What we're left with is the most precarious state of affairs the Lakers have encountered since Boston in June of '08. There are problems that need solving up and down the depth chart, but none is more important than fixing the offense. After averaging 1.10 points per possession following the All-Star break and 1.14 in the first round against theHornets, they've scored a pathetic 0.99 points per trip in the first two games of this series. The solutions haven't changed: better play from Gasol, better three-point shooting and MOAR BYNUM. If those things don't materialize, it's very possible we just watched Phil Jackson coach his last game at Staples Center.

The Lakers haven't really shown anything in this series that inspires much confidence that they will be able to claw their way back into it. If that is the case, and they continue to be outplayed as thoroughly as they have been, there will be some serious questions raised about whether or not the core of this team is too old to be competitive again before it has to be re-tooled. We heard those questions asked earlier in the season, and now those concerns appear to be warranted.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Mavericks Vs. Lakers: Do The Lakers Have Trust Issues?

The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Dallas Mavericks again on Wednesday night, and now fave a pretty serious 2-0 hole as the series moves to Dallas. As dire as their situation is in the series, they might be facing some even more difficult issues within their own locker room. They haven't looked at all like the team that has won two straight NBA Championships, and questions about any potential issues they are facing among themselves are starting to be raised. Andrew Bynum said something after the game last night that will only make them grow louder. According to Elliott Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News, Bynum said the Lakers have some trust issues.

"It's deeply rooted at this point," center Andrew Bynum said. "It's obvious we have trust issues and unless we come out and discuss them, nothing is going to change. It's individually between all 13 of us. We have trust issues right now."

That is not something you want to hear from a member of your starting lineup. Kobe Bryant tried to discount those claims as saying that the was specifically referring to the defensive rotations the Lakers missed in this game, but it feels like Bynum is hinting at something deeper. The Lakers just don't look very cohesive, and they don't appear to have very much of the chemistry that will be necessary to advance in this series.

The other big issue that has come forth in this series and in the Playoffs as a whole has been the play of Pau Gasol. Gasol finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, which would be a pretty solid statistical line for most, but he just failed to play with very much energy and couldn't really register a positive impact on the game. Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times had some interesting things to report from Gasol's performance.

(Lakers coach Phil) Jackson said there were "weird things" and "gremlins" in Gasol's game.

"Wish I could have been more productive," Gasol said. "Wish I could have been more effective. Some plays I should have finished better, but I tried my best."

Call me crazy, but if one of the star players that my team is counting on plays as crummy as Gasol has, I want a little bit more of a reaction from him. His response makes it feel like Gasol is just letting this slump happen to him, when he should be going out there trying his best to break through it. Don't "wish" you could be more productive, just be more productive. Easy for me to say of course, but his apparent ambivalence to his struggles is frustrating.

The Lakers have a chance to get back into this series, but it will probably take two wins in Dallas to get it done. The third game of the series will take place on Friday at 6:30.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Lakers Vs. Mavericks: Some Numbers From The Game 2 Loss

The Lakers have a seemingly impossible task ahead of them, after losing the first two games at home against the Mavericks. There were many reasons the Lakers lost Game 2, 93-81 to Dallas, not the least of which was Dirk Nowitzki being a matchup nightmare, again, and leading all scorers with 24 points. Here are a few takeaways from Game 2 at Staples Center:

Bench Play: The Mavericks bench didn't play as well as Game 1 (40 points on 55.2% shooting), but they did contribute 30 points, albeit on 11-of-35 shooting (31.4%). J.J. Barea dominated in the second half, leading the Dallas reserves with 12 points, and also had four assists. The Dallas bench ran circles around the Lakers' bench, which contributed just 12 points on 6-of-23 shooting from the field.

Advantage Inside: The Lakers have to be somewhat pleased with a pair of double-doubles from Andrew Bynum (18 points, 13 rebounds) and Pau Gasol (13 points, 10 boards), but the duo did only combine for 23 field goal attempts. This may sound like a broken record, but the Lakers need to pound the ball inside against Dallas. Then again...

Three-Point Shooting: The Lakers were abysmal shooting from the outside in Game 2, making just 2-for-20 from beyond the arc. The two shots they made from distance came late in the fourth quarter after the game was pretty much decided.

Free Throw Shooting: Every time the Lakers made a run, they were seemingly stopped by a missed free throw or two. The Lakers made just 11 of 20 shots from the charity stripe in Game 2. Even Shannon Brown, who made 85.7% of his free throws in the regular season, missed his two freebies.

The bottom line is, the Lakers have a tall task ahead of them if they are to win this series. Although not technically, Friday night in Dallas is an absolute must win game for the Lakers. They will have to not only play better to beat the Mavs, but also perform under hostile conditions on Dallas's home floor. Game 3 is Friday night at America Airlines Center at 6:30 p.m. PDT.

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation's playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Lakers Vs. Mavericks: Will Ron Artest Be Suspended For Game 2 Elbow?

Prospects are looking bad enough for the Lakers, now that they face an 0-2 deficit heading to Dallas for two games in their second-round NBA playoff matchup with the Mavericks. Now, they might be without Ron Artest, who was ejected for receiving his second technical foul in the final minute of Game 2. Artest delivered an elbow to the head of Jose Barea of the Mavericks with 24.4 seconds remaining in Dallas's win over the Lakers.

Artest had 11 points, six rebounds, and three blocked shots in Game 2. It is unknown whether he will be suspended for Game 3 Friday night in Dallas, but it seems like he might. Phil Jackson wasn't happy with the play late in the game by Artest, telling Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register that the play was ""Uncalled for. There's a good chance he'll be suspended. I hope not."

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation's playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Game 2: Mavericks Pound Lakers 93-81, Win Game 2, Take Control Of Series

Dirk Nowitzki poured in 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting, leading the Dallas Mavericks to a 93-81 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of their NBA playoff series, taking control of the Western Conference semifinals with a 2-0 series lead. The Lakers find themselves in the ever unenviable position of needing to win four of the next five games after dropping two home games. Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register gives the grim details:

The 3 teams of 18 NBA attempts to win best-of-7 series after losing 1st 2 at home: '69 Lakers, '94 Rockets, '05 Mavericks.

The Lakers were simply outplayed by Dallas in Game 2, dominated on defense by the Mavericks. The Lakers couldn't buy a bucket from outside, shooting 2-for-20 from three-point range, with their only two makes coming after the game was already in hand. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 23 points, but had to work hard to score, making 9-of-20 field goals. The Lakers also shot themselves in the foot, making 11-of-20 free throws.

Game 3 is Friday night in Dallas.

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation's playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Lakers Vs. Mavericks: Team Blog Reaction

After dropping Game 1 at home, the Lakers can even their second-round NBA playoff series against the Mavericks on Wednesday night with a victory. SB Nation Los Angeles offers this look around the network to see who's saying what.

  • Silver Screen and Roll questions some of Phil Jackson's "curious" coaching decisions in the Game 1 loss, in which L.A. led by as many as 16 points and held a seven-point edge after three periods. Chief among them, says C.A. Clark, is Jackson's utter refusal to call a timeout during Dallas' 20-6 run in the fourth period:

    The Lakers didn't need to work out their issues. They needed to be slapped in the face. But Phil doesn't do that. He never has. He believes in letting his teams figure these things out on their own. [Monday] night, nothing ever got figured, and by the time he stepped in, there was no more lead to protect.

  • The folks at Mavs Moneyball have taken a different tactic, instead comparing the Mavs' and Lakers' statstics side-by-side. It's worth noting that Dallas' starting lineup has played like a juggernaut compared to Los Angeles'.

Game 2 between L.A. and Dallas is set for a 7:30 tip. Catch it on TNT.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Lakers Vs. Mavericks: Game 2 Preview

The Los Angeles Lakers will try to even their second-round NBA playoff series with the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night in Game 2 at Staples Center. They held a 16-point lead early in the third quarter, but ended up losing by two, 96-94 in Game 1 on Monday night. Here are the relevant details of Game 2:

Who: No. 2 seed Lakers (57-25), No. 3 seed Mavericks (57-25)

What: 2011 Western Conference Semifinals, Game 2; Dallas leads best-of-seven series, 1-0

Where: Staples Center, downtown Los Angeles

When: 7:30 p.m. PDT

TV: TNT

Game 1 Aftermath: When losing Game 1, the Lakers in their history are 13-22 in all best-of-seven series.

Game 2 Hope: When splitting the first two games of a best-of-seven series, the Lakers are 29-12 all-time

Back of Milk Cartons: The Lakers need better games Wednesday from Andrew Bynum (eight points, five rebounds in Game 1) and Ron Artest (two points, three rebounds, four assists, three steals)

Bench: The Dallas bench outscored the Lakers' bench 40-25 in Game 1, and the Mavs' reserves shot 55.2% from the field.

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation's playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Lakers Vs. Mavericks: Reaction After Game 1 Loss

The Los Angeles Lakers blew a 16 point lead to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semi-final series on Monday. This is the kind of loss that can stick with a team for a while, but it will haunt their fanbase forever. Our Lakers blog, Silver Screen and Roll, are having a touch time swallowing this one.

The Lakers almost got away with it. They very nearly escaped Game One with a victory despite no-shows from a few of their key guys and sloppy execution from the rest. Unfortunately, the Dallas Mavericks are not the New Orleans Hornets. They play with a skilled precision befitting their German star, and they're plenty good enough to punish the Lakers when the latter succumb to their worst habits.

On the other hand, our Mavericks blog Mavs Money Ball is one cloud nine, but they also realize that this does not win them the series, and that they still have a lot of work to do.

If only you knew how hard I was shaking as I wrote the final paragraph... you would be so impressed that I even managed to finish this recap.

This series isn't over, not by a long shot. But the Lakers lost home court advantage, and a good chance to take control of the series early. It isn't over, but it is a lot more interesting.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Lakers Vs. Mavericks: Lakers Lose Despite Big Night From Kobe Bryant

If you saw that Kobe Bryant scored 36 points against the Dallas Mavericks, one might assume that the Lakers were able to come away with a victory in Game 1. But his scoring total doesn't tell the whole story. He failed to tally a single assist, and had three turnovers, including a crucial one with about 20 seconds left that enabled the Mavericks to grab the lead. But according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, Kobe is unwilling to accept any of the blame for the Game 1 loss.

Bryant repeatedly said it wasn't his fault, pointing instead to the Lakers' reserves.

"It had nothing to do with me," he said. "I'm going to do what I do. I think the second unit, we've got to make a conscious effort to get the ball in to Pau and get the ball in to Andrew."

Now Kobe did have a pretty good game, but that just isn't what you want to see form your team leader. Lakers coach Phil Jackson was ready to place blame on the entire team, for pretty much every aspect of the game.

Or as Jackson said, the Lakers "stopped playing defense and stopped playing offense."

If the Lakers can't get themselves back into this series and end up losing to the Mavs, this is a game that will really hurt.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Lakers Vs. Mavericks: Some Numbers From The Game 1 Loss

There were many reasons why the Lakers lost Game 1 to the Mavericks at Staples Center on Monday night, but it's hard to blame them for thinking the game was theirs. The Lakers led by one point with 20 seconds left, and had the ball, but committed two turnovers and ended up getting just one shot the rest of the game, a three-point attempt at the buzzer by Kobe Bryant, a shot the was a few inches long.

"We felt like we gave the game away. I'm not so sure Dallas didn't outplay us, but the players felt like they gave it away," head coach Phil Jackson said after the game. Here are a few takeaways from Game 1:

Bench Play: Lamar Odom was very good off the bench, with 15 points and 12 rebounds in 31 minutes. However, the Dallas bench outscored the Lakers 40-25. This was similar to Game 1 against New Orleans, as the Dallas bench shot 55.2% (16-of-29) from the field, including 6-for-13 on three-pointers. Jason Terry led the Mavs' reserves with 15 points, and picked off an errant Bryant pass with 20 seconds left to help turn the tide.

Andrew Bynum: The Lakers should have a big advantage rebounding in this series, and Bynum is a reason why. However, Dirk Nowitzki is such a tough matchup that it makes it hard to play Bynum and Gasol at the same time. Bynum had just eight points and five rebounds in 31 minutes on Monday. The Lakers need to get him involved more on offense, and Bynum will be more engaged, and dynamic, on defense. The Lakers outrebounded Dallas 44-40 on the night, though the Mavs had the advantage 23-18 in the second half.

Teamwork: The Mavericks had 30 assists on 39 field goals made on the night, and were led by Jason Kidd with 11 dimes. The Lakers had 21 assists on 36 field goal makes. Dallas shot 56.8% from the field in the second half, and made 5-of-9 three-pointers after halftime.

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation's playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Playoffs: Lakers Vs. Mavericks Series Schedule

The Los Angeles Lakers fought hard during the regular season for home court advantage, and for the second straight series, they gave it away in Game 1. The Dallas Mavericks staged a second-half comeback Tuesday night, turning a 16-point deficit into a 96-94 win. The series resumes Wednesday night at Staples Center in another game televised on TNT. Here is the series schedule (all times PDT):

  • Game 1: Mavericks 96, Lakers 94
  • Game 2: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. at Los Angeles (TNT)
  • Game 3: Friday, 6:30 p.m. at Dallas (ESPN)
  • Game 4: Sunday, 12:30 p.m. at Dallas (ABC)
  • Game 5*: Tuesday, May 10, TBD at Los Angeles (TNT)
  • Game 6*: Thursday, May 12, TBD at Dallas (ESPN)
  • Game 7*: Sunday, May 15, 12:30 p.m. at Los Angeles (ABC)

*if necessary

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation's playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Game 1: Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks Stun Lakers 96-94

Dirk Nowitzki hit two go-ahead free throws with 19.5 seconds left, giving the Dallas Mavericks a comeback 96-94 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinals series at Staples Center. The Lakers held a 60-44 lead early in the third quarter, courtesy of a 21-2 run that spanned the second and third quarters. Nowtizki scored 11 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, and grabbed 14 rebounds.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 36 points, and missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that would have given the Lakers the win. Pau Gasol had 15 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists, but he and Kobe struggled mightily on the Lakers' final possessions. The Lakers held the ball with the lead with 20 seconds left, but Bryant threw the ball away to Jason Terry. On the ensuing possession, Gasol had to guard Nowitzki 30 feet from the basket, outside Gasol's comfort zone, and Gasol was too aggressive, committing a foul on the inbound play.

On the Lakers' next possession, Gasol and Bynum ran a handoff play, but Bryant tripped on Jason Kidd's feet and fell down. No foul was called (rightfully so, it seems), and the Lakers turned the ball over. One free throw from Kidd gave the Mavericks the final margin. Game 2 is Wednesday night at Staples Center.

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation's playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Game 1: Lakers Lead Mavericks 53-44 At Halftime Thanks To Late Run

The Lakers used a 14-2 run in the final 2:31 of the second quarter, aided greatly by two boneheaded plays by Jason Terry and Dirk Nowtizki, to take a 53-44 lead at halftime over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of their second round NBA playoff battle at Staples Center. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 14 points, including a free throw with 0.7 seconds left in the half after a technical foul on Nowitzki. This followed a foul call on Jason Terry, who was guarding Lamar Odom 45 feet from the basket as time was running out in the half.

The Lakers trailed by a score of 25-23 after one, but turned up the defense in the second quarter. Dallas shot 47.8% from the field in the first quarter, but were limited to 36.8% in the second quarter. The Lakers outrebounded the Mavericks 26-17 in the first half, including 12-6 in the second quarter.

The Lakers seemingly ignored Andrew Bynum for most of the half, as he had four points and four boards. Pau Gasol picked up the slack with nine points, six rebounds, and five assists. Nowitzki had 12 points and five rebounds for Dallas, who was led by Terry's 13 points off the bench. There was no real foul trouble in the first half, as only Terry and Matt Barnes have two personal fouls. There have, however, been technical fouls on Terry, Gasol, and Tyson Chandler.

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation's playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Playoffs: Derek Fisher Doesn't Think He's Weak Spot In Lakers Vs. Mavs Series

Derek Fisher isn’t typically known as somebody who makes headlines with his quotes, but while talking to Stephen A. Smith on ESPN Radio, the veteran point guard did speak up for himself when asked if he was the weak spot in the Los Angeles Lakers NBA Playoff series versus the Dallas Mavericks.

“I think most of those people are looking at stats when they say that. They’re looking at numbers and saying, ‘This guy scores more and has more assists and he’s more important to his team,’" Fisher told Smith (as transcribed by Sports Radio Interviews). "That’s fine. I understand there’s a lot of people out there like that. But the reality of it is the votes that count the most are my teammates, my coaches, first and foremost, and then real basketball people from within the game. … They understand the value that a player like myself brings to the team.”

The veteran might actually be on to something when saying that as there’s obviously a reason Phil Jackson continues to keep Fisher in the starting lineup, but there’s no doubt — even in his mind — that the Lakers as a whole are losing a step as each year passes.

“I think Father Time is knocking at everybody’s door. Every team in professional sports has to deal with the realities and demands of every season. For us, this is our fourth consecutive run at possibly winning the championship and having a chance to win three consecutive championships. That takes a toll," Fisher told Smith. "So there’s no question that we’ve been impacted by the run that we’ve been on. At the same time, that has no real impact on the ability to perform and perform at a high level when you get out there on the court. … It’s about execution, it’s about poise, it’s about experience, it’s about understanding time and situations.”

Whether that veteran experience will be enough to upend another veteran laden group in the Mavericks during the Lakers second-round playoff series will be decided soon enough.

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2011 NBA Playoffs: Lakers Game 1 History With Kobe Bryant & Pau Gasol

The Lakers open their second round NBA playoff series with Game 1 Monday night against the Mavericks in a familiar position: at home. Since acquiring Pau Gasol in February 2008, the Lakers have made four playoff runs. They have played 13 playoff series, and have have had home court advantage in 12 of them. The only time the Lakers didn't have home court advantage was the only series these Kobe Bryant & Gasol Lakers have ever lost, the 2008 NBA Finals.

The Lakers were the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference in each of the last three seasons, and are No. 2 this season. However, with San Antonio's stunning first-round exit, the Lakers are once again in the familiar spot of being the top remaining seed in the west. The Lakers faltered in Game 1 of their last series, against New Orleans, but recovered quickly to regain their advantage and take the series in six games. Here is a look at how the Lakers have fared in Game 1 of their last 12 playoff series opened at home:

Lakers With Home Court Advantage 2008-2011
Year Round Opponent Game 1 Series
2011 1st New Orleans L, 109-100 W, 4-2
2010 NBA Finals Boston W, 102-89 W, 4-3
2010 Conf Finals
Phoenix W, 128-107 W, 4-2
2010 2nd Utah W, 104-99 W, 4-0
2010 1st Oklahoma City W, 87-79 W, 4-2
2009 NBA Finals
Orlando W, 100-75 W, 4-1
2009 Conf Finals
Denver W, 105-103 W, 4-2
2009 2nd Houston L, 100-92 W, 4-3
2009 1st
Utah W, 113-100 W, 4-1
2008 Conf Finals
San Antonio W, 89-85 W, 4-1
2008 2nd Utah W, 109-98 W, 4-2
2008 1st Denver W, 128-114 W, 4-0

The Lakers are 10-2 in Games 1 over the last four seasons, winning by a shade over eight points per contest on average. Outside of the 2008 Boston Celtics, who were 66-16, this Dallas team, at 57-25, has the best record of any Laker playoff opponent of the Kobe/Gasol era.

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation's playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Playoffs: Downtown L.A. Busy Monday Night With Lakers, Dodgers Both Playing At Home

Traffic in and around Los Angeles is always bad, but look for extra gridlock Monday night in downtown L.A.. The Lakers play Game 1 of their NBA playoff series with the Mavericks at Staples Center at 7:30 p.m., about 20 minutes later and four miles from Dodger Stadium, where the Dodgers open a three-game series with the Cubs. Dating back to 2008, the Dodgers have played at home on the same day that the Lakers had a home playoff game 19 times. The Lakers are 16-3 in those games, while the Dodgers are 12-7.

Date Lakers Dodgers
4/20/11 Win Win
4/17/11 Loss Win
6/6/10 Loss Win
6/3/10 Win Loss
5/19/10 Win Loss
5/17/10 Win Win
5/4/10 Win Loss
5/2/10 Win Win
4/18/10 Win Win
6/7/09 Win Loss
6/4/09 Win Loss
5/19/09 Win Win
5/6/09 Win Win
5/4/09 Loss Win
4/19/09 Win Win
5/23/08 Win Loss
5/21/08 Win Win
5/7/08 Win Loss
4/23/08 Win Win

The good news is that not once have both the Lakers and Dodgers lost on these days with two games. Then again, that has a lot to do with the Lakers being dominant at home, at 16-3. In fact, the Lakers are 17-2 at home since 2008 in the playoffs when the Dodgers don't play on the same night. In the end, there is no real predictive value in any of this information, but I thought it was interesting.

For more news on this second-round NBA playoff matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation's playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Lakers Vs. Mavericks: Phil Jackson Dials Down Feud With Mark Cuban

Lakers head coach Phil Jackson and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban have a longstanding feud marked by several swipes at each other via the media over the last decade, but as Mark Medina of the L.A. Times reports, Jackson has adopted a different approach as he prepares to square off against Cuban’s club in the postseason for the first time in his career. “It’s not about generating animosity,” Jackson told reporters. “This is about healthy competition.”

Strong words from a man who once showed his Lakers images from the film American History X to fire them up prior to a playoff series against the Sacramento Kings. But it’s working; his players have backed off as well. Even Matt Barnes, whose altercation with Dallas’ Jason Terry in March resulted in his earning a one-game suspension and fueled a few days of trash-talking between the teams. Here’s how Barnes responded Sunday, according to Medina, when asked if he planned to give Terry a t-shirt bearing the words Matt Barnes will kill you, if Ron Artest doesn’t first, which is part of his Elusion Clothing label:

“You guys are trying to get me started,” Barnes said with a smile. “I can’t do that yet. We’ll see how the series goes.”

To reiterate: you have Jackson, among the league’s most vocal coaches, backing off one of his biggest rivals. You have Barnes, among the league’s biggest instigators, refusing to start another war of words between himself and a player, Terry, with whom he has a history. You’ll pardon us for being surprised, though maybe we shouldn’t be. After all, this situation sounds like something Jackson cooked up the manipulate the media and, in so doing, control the narrative of the series.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Lakers Vs. Mavericks: L.A. Has Their Hands Full With Dirk Nowitzki

The Lakers and Mavericks open their first playoff series in 23 years Monday night at Staples Center, and L.A. will have its hands full with Dirk Nowitzki. The 13-year veteran averaged 23.0 points per game this season, his lowest output in a decade, but Nowitzki was still remarkably effective. Pau Gasol will have his hands full dealing with the 7-foot German.

The Mavs were 55-18 with Nowitzki in the lineup this season, and 2-7 without him. The fact is, Nowitzki makes his teammates better. Dexter Fishmore of Silver Screen and Roll explains:

The Lakers must take advantage of the 6 to 10 minutes per game he is on the bench. When he is on the floor the Mavs are the equivalent of a 60 win team. When he is on the bench they suddenly become the equivalent of the Timberwolves. The Lakers would be served well to put together six to ten point runs when Dirk is out. If they don’t do that, expect each game to be very tight at the end which is where Dirk’s excellent ability to generate shots for himself and convert at a high rate could swing the series for the Mavericks.

As expected, Nowitzki has raised his game in the postseason. He averaged 27.3 points and 7.8 rebounds in the first round of the playoffs against the Blazers, including 33 points and 11 rebounds in the Game 6 clincher on the road at Portland. Game 1 of this second round series is Monday night at 7:30 p.m. PDT, and will be televised by TNT.

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation's playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Playoffs: Lakers Heavy Favorites In Las Vegas To Beat Mavericks

The Lakers and Mavericks begin their second-round NBA playoff series Monday night in Game 1 at Staples Center. Though the two teams had the same regular season record, the Lakers have home court advantage in this series because they won their division while the Mavs finished second in theirs, and also because the Lakers beat the Mavericks in two of their three regular season matchups. Even at 57 regular season wins apiece, the Lakers are heavy favorites to win the series.

The Lakers are a -370 favorite to take the series according to Bodog, meaning a bettor would have to wager $370 on the Lakers to win $100. The Mavericks are at +285 to take the series, meaning a $100 bet would win $285 if Dallas were to win the series. The Lakers are six-point favorites to take Game 1 at home.

Though they won 57 games during the regular season, the Lakers were just 38-44 against the spread. Meanwhile, Dallas was 43-37-2 against the point spread. In their only matchup in Los Angeles this season, the Lakers trounced Dallas by 28 points, 110-82, on March 31.

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation's playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Mavericks: Game 1 Notes & Probable Starting Lineups

The Lakers and Mavericks begin their second-round NBA playoff series Monday night at Staples Center. These two franchises haven't met in the playoffs since 1988, and the heavily-anticipated battle between two 57-win teams should be a fun series. Game 1 is Monday night at 7:30 p.m. PDT, and will be televised by TNT. Here's a look at the probable starting lineups for both teams, with some notes for each player:

Mavericks

  • Point Guard - Jason Kidd: He has made the playoffs in each of the last 15 seasons, the longest active streak in the NBA
  • Shooting Guard - DeShawn Stevenson: Loses minutes to sixth man Jason Terry, but hit eight threes in Game 4 against Portland in the first round
  • Small Forward - Shawn Marion: Averaged 14.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in the first round
  • Power Forward - Dirk Nowitzki: Has posted 28 career playoff games with 30 points and 10 rebounds, including the Game 6 clincher against the Blazers
  • Center - Tyson Chandler: Had 20 rebounds, including a whopping 13 offensive boards in Game 5 against Portland

Lakers

  • Point Guard - Derek Fisher: No active NBA player has been a part of more playoff series wins than Fisher's 34
  • Shooting Guard - Kobe Bryant: Kobe has averaged at least 20 points for a Laker-record 29 straight playoff series
  • Small Forward - Ron Artest: Won the 2010-2011 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award last week
  • Power Forward - Pau Gasol: Averaged just 13.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in the first round against New Orleans
  • Center - Andrew Bynum: Controlled the middle in the first round against the Hornets, averaging 15.2 points, 10.3 boards, and 1.8 blocks per contest.

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation's playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Mavericks: A Playoff Matchup For The Aged

As the Lakers and Mavericks prepare to begin their 2011 NBA playoff series Monday night in Game 1 at Staples Center, all signs point to a memorable series. There are two teams that finished 57-25 this season, each at times looking like the best team in the league. There is the specter of the first-ever playoff meeting between Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki, and of course the always entertaining rivalry and war of words between Phil Jackson and Mark Cuban.

As Derek Fishmore noted at Silver Screen and Roll, both teams are fighting to keep that ever-elusive championship window open:

The stakes are huge. For the Mavs, the curtain is starting to fall on the Nowitzki era. It's not all the way down yet, but if they're going to win a title with Dirk, they'd better get on with it. Knocking out the Lakers would invest them with a sense that history's finally turning their way. Beat the defending champs on their own court, and there's no one left in the field you can't handle.

As for the Lakers, they're playing for immortality. They can become one of the few teams to win their conference four years in a row and of course, one of the few teams in any sport to three-peat. A loss to Dallas would bring this grand vision to a crushing end and would send Phil Jackson into retirement on an unspeakably sour note. Imagine, if you can, Phil's final game being a loss to the Mavericks in the second round. Imagine him walking off the court under the smug, triumphant gaze of Mark Cuban. Needless to say, this can't be allowed to happen.

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation's playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Lakers Vs. Mavericks: Game 1 Preview, TV, Game Time, Etc

For the first time in 23 years, the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks will face off in the playoffs. Game 1 of their second-round NBA playoff series is on Monday night, at Staples Center. Here are the relevant details, for tonight's game:

Who: Lakers (57-25), Mavericks (57-25)

Why: The Lakers are the No. 2 seed over the Mavericks by virtue of winning the Pacific Division, while Dallas finished behind the Spurs in the Southwest Division.

What: 2011 Western Conference Semifinals

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles

When: 7:30 p.m. PDT

TV: TNT

Previous Matchups: The Lakers beat the Mavericks in two of their three meetings this season, including a 28-point blowout on March 31 in the only game in Los Angeles.

Front Court Production: Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom combined for 51.7 points and 25.3 rebounds in 94.0 minutes in three games against Dallas. Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, and Tyson Chandler combined for 46.3 points and 25.7 rebounds in 97.7 minutes against L.A.

Game 1 Importance: Phil Jackson is 48-0 when his teams win Game 1, including 24-0 in both Chicago and Los Angeles

Home Court Advantage: The Lakers are 76-15 at home in the playoffs since Staples Center opened in the 1999-2000 season. In addition, Dallas is 3-18 on the road in the playoffs dating back to the 2006 NBA Finals, though they did close out the Blazers in Portland in Round 1. The Lakers are 18-4 all-time at Staples Center against Dallas.

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation's playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Playoffs, Lakers Vs. Mavericks: A Review Of Regular Season Matchups

The Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks open their second round NBA playoff series Monday night at Staples Center. Amazingly, Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki have never faced one another in the playoffs, and in fact the Lakers and Mavericks haven't played in the postseason since the 1988 Western Conference Finals. They did face off three times this season, however, and here is a look back to those contests:

January 19 (at Dallas) - Mavericks 109, Lakers 100: Jason Kidd scored 13 points in a third quarter run for Dallas, and the Mavericks got 22 points apiece off the bench from Jason Terry and Shawn Marion

March 12 (at Dallas) - Lakers 96, Mavericks 91: Andrew Bynum dominated, with 22 points and 15 rebounds, propelling the Lakers to a road win. Kobe Bryant badly turned his left ankle in this game, an injury Bryant himself feared might end his season. That didn't happen, of course, and here we are today.

March 31 (at Los Angeles) - Lakers 110, Mavericks 82: The Lakers blew the Mavericks out of Staples Center, but things got testy in the fourth quarter. Terry shoved Steve Blake to the ground, Matt Barnes intervened, and all three were ejected in the fracas.

Both teams finished 57-25 on the season, but the Lakers captured the higher seed by virtue of winning their division, while Dallas finished behind San Antonio in the Southwest Division. Game 1 is 7:30 p.m. PDT Monday night at Staples Center, and will be televised by TNT.

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation's playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Playoffs: Lakers To Battle Mavericks In Second Round Beginning Monday Night At Staples Center

The Los Angeles Lakers were able to close out the New Orleans Hornets on Thursday night in game 6, 98-80, winning their first-round series four games to two. Similarly, the Dallas Mavericks took care of business on the road as well, defeating the Portland Trail Blazers 103-96 in Game 6, finishing their series. The Lakers and Mavericks are now set to duel in the NBA playoffs for the first time since 1988. Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki, two of basketball's brightest stars of the last decade plus, finally meet on the NBA's biggest stage.

The Lakers and Mavericks both finished the regular season at 57-25. The Lakers earned home court advantage by virtue of winning their division, while Dallas finished second to the Spurs in the Southwest Division. The Lakers beat Dallas in two of three meetings this season. Here is the series schedule, which begins Monday night at Staples Center in a nationally televised game on TNT (all times PDT):

  • Game 1: Monday, May 2, 7:30 p.m. at Los Angeles (TNT)
  • Game 2: Wednesday, May 4, 7:30 p.m. at Los Angeles (TNT)
  • Game 3: Friday, May 6, 6:30 p.m. at Dallas (ESPN)
  • Game 4: Sunday, May 8, 12:30 p.m. at Dallas (ABC)
  • Game 5*: Tuesday, May 10, TBD at Los Angeles (TNT)
  • Game 6*: Thursday, May 12, TBD at Dallas (ESPN)
  • Game 7*: Sunday, May 15, 12:30 p.m. at Los Angeles (ABC)

*if necessary

For more news on this second-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation's playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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