LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers were stuck in neutral for most of the first half against Dallas. Then they ramped up their defense and rallied for a second win in as many nights, posting a 114-103 victory over the Mavericks on Friday night.
“From the second quarter on, our defense stepped up. We did a nice job of getting stops and getting out and running,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “We found our energy and were able to carry it on from there. It was ugly in the first. We weren’t able to get back in transition and had too many turnovers.”
Dallas shot 12 of 25 from the field in the first quarter and then shot just 36 percent (22 of 61) the rest of the game. The Lakers (13-9) had a 31-13 advantage in fast-break points and outscored the Mavericks 62-40 in the paint.
LeBron James missed five of six from the field in the first quarter before going 11 of 15 the rest of the way and finishing with 28 points.
“I knew what type of basketball I played in the first quarter and the result of that was us playing poor. I hit the reset button and knew I would be much better,” James said.
“We tried to contest every shot that he took, whether it was going to the lane, midrange or 3-pointers,” Ingram said.
Kyle Kuzma added 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers. It’s the third time in five back-to-back sets this season that they have taken both games.
Los Angeles trailed for most of the first three quarters – and fell behind by as many as 15 in the second – before going on a 10-4 run the final three minutes of the third to take a 78-75 advantage into the fourth.
The Lakers were up 90-86 before taking control with a 15-3 run that included nine points by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Dallas was assessed four technical fouls in the game, including three in the fourth quarter. JJ Barea was ejected midway in the fourth after receiving his second technical.
“The combination of second shots and turnovers really hurt us in stretches in the second half,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “Our bad stretches were longer than our good stretches. It was a very disappointing loss.”
Dallas led 45-30 less than four minutes into the second quarter when the Lakers got back into it with 10 straight points, which included six by James. The Mavericks led 58-53 at halftime.