After losing nine games in a row, the Los Angeles Lakers responded by winning their fourth straight game in a 107-101 overtime victory in Dallas on Saturday.
Julius Randle put in a monstrous performance with 23 points and 15 rebounds, though the active forward also tabbed seven turnovers. Lonzo Ball, the Lakers' rookie point guard, finished the day with nine points, seven assists and seven rebounds but zero turnovers in a positive performance.
Unfortunately, the Lakers lost forward Brandon Ingram to a mild ankle sprain in the second quarter after the 20-year-old had started brightly and led the Lakers to an early 11-point advantage after the first 12 minutes of the game. Ingram did not return to the game.
Predictably, the Mavericks, at home, made their push back into the game via Wes Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr. and Harrison Barnes. Smith finished the game with 23 points to share game-high honors with Randle, while Barnes and Matthews both contributed 17 points in the Saturday matinee.
The Lakers have not lost a game since LaVar Ball came out and said Luke Walton has lost the locker room.
— Shahan Ahmed (@shahanLA) January 13, 2018
With a minute remaining in regulation, the Lakers led by five points and looked set to celebrate victory. Then, Barnes led a late game charge, which was aided by a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed free throw, to bring Dallas level with 5.9 seconds remaining in the game.
Rather than go to the hot hand of Jordan Clarkson, who hit a couple big shots in the final three minutes of the game, LA gave the ball to Randle. The forward proceeded to use the majority of the clock before the ball squirted loose and looked like a turnover before Ball picked up the rock and attempted a desperation game-winner. The shot never had a chance and fell well short, and the game required five extra minutes to decide a winner.
In the extra period, Clarkson continued his hot shooting by hitting a three-pointer to begin the overtime session. The Lakers' sixth man made one more bucket in the overtime to give the Lakers a five-point lead with two minutes remaining in the game. Clarkson finished with 19 points and four assists on the afternoon.
The Mavericks, however, continued to fight back and cut the difference to three points with 42 seconds remaining in overtime. Then, Ball drove to the basket and didn't draw iron on his shot attempt, but Dallas-native Randle grabbed the offensive rebound and made the put-back to restore a five-point cushion for the Lakers with 18 seconds remaining.
The game was in the refrigerator, finally, and the Lakers claimed their fourth win in a row, with a winnable game in Memphis on Martin Luther King Jr. Day next on the schedule.
Notes: Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds off the bench, as the 22-year-old made 8-13 field goals on the day. The Lakers outscored the Mavericks 54-30 in points in the paint.