Lakers Overcome 27-Point Deficit To Defeat Mavericks In Playoff Atmosphere
The Lakers came away with a thrilling victory over the Mavericks on Sunday to increase their win streak to three. Dallas catapulted to a 27-point lead in the 2nd quarter, which was deflating for LA.
JARRED VANDERBILT IS THE GREATEST PLAYER OF ALL TIME!!— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) February 26, 2023
Darvin Ham implored the Lakers to stay engaged and play with energy. Led by Jarred Vanderbilt, the group went on a run to cut the Mavs lead to 14 at halftime. They continued their push into the 2nd half, cutting their lead to three entering the 4th quarter.
Vanderbilt finished with 15 points and 17 rebounds while getting four steals.
There was a moment where fans feared the worst, as LeBron James went down to the floor, saying he popped his ankle. However, he tightened up his shoe and continued playing in a crucial game.
ANTHONY DAVIS IS DIFFERENT!!! pic.twitter.com/3HP5yvcKaC— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) February 26, 2023
In the 4th, it was a back-and-forth affair, with Anthony Davis hitting a clutch fadeaway to give the Lakers a three-point lead in the final minute, and they held onto it with free throws. Kyrie Irving put up a halfcourt heave to tie the game at the end of regulation, but it was short. Despite the ankle injury, James was able to clutch shots and moves down the stretch.
James finished with 26 points and eight rebounds, while his running mate Davis had 30 points, 15 rebounds, and three blocks.
27 point deficit gone.— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) February 26, 2023
The Lakers have the lead. pic.twitter.com/Ggr7ihCII8
This was a battle between two teams in a pivotal game in the final stretch of the regular season. Both the Mavs and the Lakers made big moves at the trade deadline to go all-in. Dallas traded for Irving to pair with Luka Doncic, while LA improved their depth immensely, acquiring D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Rui Hachimura, Mo Bamba, and Davon Reed.
Russell missed this contest, but the depth was on full display. Irving and Doncic are a tough duo to stop, but they held Irving to 21 points on 8-22 shooting and Doncic to 26 points on 10-22 shooting.
Vanderbilt was the main defender on Doncic, and they were able to trap him and Irving and switch fast enough to defend the open looks for other players.
The depth and role players fit extremely well around James and Davis. Their defense has improved immensely, and they have proven they can beat a quality team with this win over the Mavericks.
“What the f*ck you gon’ do?”— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) February 26, 2023
I’ve never seen Austin Reaves this heated. I LOVE IT 😈 pic.twitter.com/ElOfSxnWc5
This matchup had a playoff atmosphere, as both teams are making up a push-up the standings. The Lakers are now winners of three-straight games and have climbed to 11th in the standings. They are one game back from the play-in tournament and 2.5 back games from the 6th seed in the Western Conference.
Lakers fans should be excited as this team is proving they can have a second-half turnaround this season, make a playoff push, and compete for a title.