The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Dallas Mavericks, 90-82, to collect to their eighth loss in the first nine games of the 2015-16 season.
In what is likely his last game in Dallas, Kobe Bryant made six of his first eight shots and entered the halftime break as the game's leading scorer. Along with Bryant, second-year guard Jordan Clarkson made four of his first six shots to help the Lakers onto a strong start on the final game of a five-game road trip. As a team, the Lakers came out shooting well and took an early 10-point lead midway through the halfway point of the first quarter.
One minute and 36 seconds later, the Mavericks only trailed by one point. Predictably, Dallas recovered from a slow start, and the Lakers cooled off. Dallas led by five points at the end of the first quarter. By halftime, the Mavericks had opened up an eight-point lead.
Neither team played especially clean basketball throughout the night. "Ugly" was the word used multiple times by the Lakers' home television broadcast team. Through three quarters, the Lakers turned the ball over 18 times. LA had only shot 32.8 percent from the field, and Dallas didn't look all that much better at 36.4 percent with 10 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter of a physical and sloppy game, the Lakers clawed back to within three points within the first couple minutes, and LA suddenly had the opportunity to steal a road game. Lakers' sixth man Lou Williams would make an acrobatic shot while getting fouled soon after, and the Lakers cut that lead to one point with just below eight minutes to play in the ball game.
The Mavericks, though, managed to keep the Lakers at arm's length. The Lakers stayed within single-digits throughout the final quarter but simply could not break through and take the lead. With 3:40 to play in the fourth quarter, Bryant returned to finish the game. The Lakers trailed by five points at that late stage, but Bryant only attempted one shot over the deciding minutes.
As a team, the Lakers would crawl and fight to make it a one possession game several times in the final couple minutes. Ultimately, though, the Mavericks would insist on claiming the victory with Zaza Pachulia coming up big at the end. Pachulia led Dallas with 18 points and 16 rebounds on the night.
Local news from across Southern California
Clarkson would finish as the top scorer in the contest with 21 points on 9-18 shooting from the field. Bryant finished with 19 points on 7-15 shooting. After the game, Mavs players and owner Mark Cuban lined up at mid-court to greet Bryant.
Notes: Lakers finished with 22 turnovers. Dallas shot 36.6 percent for the game. LA shot 33.0 percent for the game.