The Lakers faked a comeback so hard on Wednesday that it became a real comeback against the Mavericks. Fueled by LeBron James’ huge fourth quarter, the Lakers overturned a huge deficit, took the lead and then gave it away to eventually fall 104-101.
Trailing by 20 to open the fourth, the Lakers stormed back and ahead on a LeBron putback in the final minutes. But a Kyrie Irving 3-pointer with 20 seconds left served as the go-ahead basket.
LeBron had a slow first three quarters and came alive in the fourth scoring 26 points with nine rebounds and seven assists. The Mavericks were able to defend Anthony Davis very well holding him to 10 points on 4-10 shooting from the field, though he did grab 14 rebounds.
Austin Reaves was also big in the fourth quarter and tallied 17 points with 6 rebounds and 6 assists despite going just 1-5 from three. Taurean Prince finally came alive with 14 points on 6-10 shooting.
The game started chippy with LeBron and Grant Williams shoving each other. The Lakers had plenty of energy but missed a lot of layups to start. A small positive at the start was that Taurean Prince finally made a 3-pointer. Rui Hachimura’s instant offense helped the Lakers take the lead by one mid-way through the quarter. At the end of the first, the Mavericks led 29-25.
Bron and Grant Williams getting chippy SEVEN SECONDS into the game pic.twitter.com/suXHOsSUkd— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 23, 2023
The Lakers had back-to-back turnovers and the Mavericks took advantage of them to get their lead up to nine in the second quarter.
A Luka Dončić 3-pointer pushed the Mavericks lead to 12. Although the Lakers did try to make a small push, the Mavericks' offense was lighting them up. Austin Reaves drilled a buzzer-beater to end the half...that unfortunately did not count. The Mavericks led 62-46 into halftime.
The Lakers started the third quarter with nice offense, but the Mavericks had answers with Kyrie Irving beginning to light it up. D’Angelo Russell started heating up and helped the Lakers get within 12. The Mavericks punched back extending the lead to 18. At the end of the fourth, the Mavericks led 91-71.
A classic fake comeback started brewing and the Lakers got the game within nine with eight minutes left. The Lakers then were able to get it within three. Taurean made a layup to get it to two. It was a tie game with under two minutes left. LeBron took over and was able to give the Lakers the lead by two with 1:16 left, 101-99.
Kyrie drilled a go-ahead 3-pointer on the ensuing possession. A LeBron turnover allowed Kyrie two free throws to help the Mavericks take a three-point lead.
LeBron took a three to tie the game in the final seconds after Kyrie’s free throws but missed as the Lakers' fake comeback was not completed.
Fake comebacks are not something you want to fall into. They need to stop waiting until eight minutes left in the game to go on runs and make the game interesting. Put a full game together from start to finish.
The Lakers miss far too many easy layups that immediately take them out of a game. They cannot miss those easy buckets. Cleaning that up is a must.
DEFEND THE 3! Starring at the opposing players as they drill a 3-pointer is a recipe for failure every time. Somehow, every year the Lakers continue to do that.
The Lakers’ next game is against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday at 4:30 PM PT.
You can follow Karin on Twitter at @KarinAbcarians.