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Lakers vs. Mavericks Final Score: Julius Randle’s triple-double powers 124-102 victory

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The Lakers start their final stretch of the season on the right foot.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers came out of the All-Star break looking prepared for the final stretch of the season, taking down the Dallas Mavericks in a 124-102 victory. Julius Randle put on a fantastic return performance, notching a triple-double to lead the way for LA.

Randle finished with a team-high 18 points (9-13), 12 rebounds and 10 assists, giving him his fifth career triple-double. That ties Randle with Pau Gasol for third all-time in triple-double accrued in Lakers franchise history, an impressive feat.

Lonzo Ball played 17 minutes in a game he was expected to play at a limited capacity, scoring nine points with six assists and seven rebounds. It was good seeing Ball back on the floor, especially with him knocking down his first shot from deep to get back into rhythm.

The Lakers went wire-to-wire for the first time of the season, getting out to an early lead and keeping their foot on the gas. The Mavericks made several runs at making it a game, but each time LA had an answer. Seven Lakers reached double-digits in scoring, with Isaiah Thomas adding an impactful 17 points off the bench.

Dallas had the three-ball going, connecting on 19-of-42 attempts compared to the Lakers 13-of-33 outing. Where LA was great, however, was scoring points int he paint. The Lakers outscored the Mavericks 62-26 in that zone, the difference maker in this one.

Another difference maker? A Lakers defense that was switching, trapping, creating turnovers and maintaining pace for the offense. This was the best the Lakers have looked on that end of the floor in quite some time, a great sign as the roster is back to full strength.

The purple and gold are back at it Saturday night in Sacramento. Enjoy the win, and let’s hope for another!