via The Sports Xchange
DALLAS — The Los Angeles Lakers endured some low points in recent seasons, but the nadir occurred Sunday.
The Dallas Mavericks blitzed Los Angeles in the second quarter and handed the Lakers the worst loss in franchise history, 122-73.
“We have teaching points, but what I say to them behind those doors, that is between us,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “I think they understand and would agree and would feel inside the same way that I feel.”
It was the Mavericks’ largest margin of victory and 13th consecutive win against the Lakers. Dallas missed its first 50-point victory since a win over Philadelphia on Nov. 13, 2014.
The Mavericks, whose 15-29 record is better than the marks of just four NBA teams, including the Lakers (16-32), snapped to a two-game losing streak.
Dallas rode a 31-9 surge in the second quarter that built upon its 29-22 lead after one quarter. The margin quickly ballooned into double digits and then reached as high as 34 points in the second quarter, a lead that was insurmountable for the short-handed Lakers, who failed in an attempt to win consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 12.
The Mavericks took a 67-33 lead into the locker room, and the advantage grew in the second half. The Lakers dropped to 3-11 this season when playing without starting point guard D’Angelo Russell, who sustained knee and calf injuries in Los Angeles’ win over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.
The Mavericks, who followed a season-best, three-game game winning streak with consecutive close losses to the Miami Heat and Utah Jazz on Thursday and Friday, respectively, shot 50 percent from the floor in the first half, including 9 of 20 from 3-point range.
The Lakers were a brutal 13 of 37 from the floor — including 2 of 16 from beyond the arc — in the first half and committed nine turnovers. Dallas outrebounded Los Angeles 28-15 before the break, including 8-2 on the offensive glass.
For the game, the Mavericks outshot the Lakers 49.4 percent to 38.4 percent and amassed a 49-32 edge on the glass.
“You’ve got to point to our defense. In that second quarter, I thought we did a great job defensively, setting the tone and setting the tempo,” said Mavs guard Deron Williams, who finished with 13 points and eight assists. “It created a lot of offense off the turnovers, and then just getting out and running. They only had 11 points in that quarter, so our defense got us going.”
The Lakers put up little resistance in the third quarter as Dallas grew its lead to 37 points.
The margin hit 40 points for the first time at 99-59 with just under 10 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. The biggest lead was 53 points as the Mavericks nearly doubled the Lakers’ scoring.
Dallas got extremely balanced scoring with seven players finishing in double figures, but with no player totaling more than Justin Anderson’s 19 points. Anderson, who has had trouble maintaining a spot in coach Rick Carlisle’s rotation, was 5 of 11 from the floor, 3 of 6 from 3-point range. Guard Seth Curry had 14 points, and Dirk Nowitzki and Wesley Matthews each scored 13 points.
Matthews had to leave the game with a hip injury.
“A little hip strain or something. Not considered serious,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. “I don’t expect him to miss Wednesday (when the New York Knicks visit Dallas). We’re going to be off (Monday). We’ll practice Tuesday; there will be an update on Tuesday. I don’t think he’ll be missing Wednesday — that’s just my opinion. He said he’s OK, just a little bit tight.”
Only two Lakers players scored in double figures — Lou Williams with 15 points and Jordan Clarkson with 10. Luol Deng, Justin Randle and Nick Young all scored nine points.
Los Angeles shot a paltry 14.3 percent from beyond the arc, making must 3 of 21 attempts.
“They hit shots, we didn’t. They defended, we didn’t. It’s as simple as that,” said Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr., who had four points in 10 minutes of playing time. “I don’t know why we didn’t defend. Some nights shots don’t fall, but it’s unacceptable to give up 122 on any night.”