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.
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