(Photo: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
The Los Angeles Lakers had a hard time putting the ball in the basket against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night, shooting 36 percent from the field and allowing their opposition to shoot 51 percent, which led to deceptively close loss of 102-98.
The Lakers never led in the game and were down by as many as 16 but they made a run late in the 4th quarter to cut the lead to as little as 3 but the Mavs were able to hold on for the victory.
The Lakers stayed in the game despite their huge disparity in shooting efficiency because of their dominance on the offensive glass, nabbing 24 to the Mavs 6, which resulted in 16 more field goal attempts. Ed Davis had 8 of the teams 24 offensive rebounds and finished with a line of 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lakers were without their leading scorer, Kobe Bryant, for the 3rd straight game which is a big reason for the offensive struggles. The Lakers have averaged 102 points, 19.3 free attempts and shot 42.1 percent which are all below their season averages with Bryant.
The defenses attention no longer being focused on Bryant has meant less open looks for the other Lakers players which has led to struggles offensively, namely Nick Young. Young is shooting 31.4 percent from the field in the 3 games without Bryant. Young isn’t the only one having troubles without Bryant: Jeremy Lin is shooting 29.6 percent and Wesley Johnson 33.3 percent, both well below their season averages.
The Lakers’ next game will be on Sunday at home versus the Phoenix Suns and Bryant is listed as probable.