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Lakers Highlights: Crazy LA 4th Quarter Rally Falls Short Against Mavericks

LA almost got 'em.

Though the final 104-101 margin of your Los Angeles Lakers' last-second loss to the Dallas Mavericks may look respectable, I can assure you much of the game was not.

Los Angeles, a bigger, longer team, struggled against the sharpshooting, fastbreaking Mavs for a lot of the night. The team clawed its way back in the fourth quarter, but ultimately ran out of gas.

The two teams traded buckets in the first quarter. All-Star Mavericks guards Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic accounted for a vast majority of Dallas' offense in the frame, notching 26 of the team's 29 points. Los Angeles finished with 26.

Dallas pulled away with a 33-21 second quarter, powered by massive shooting and pace advantages. Los Angeles struggled to contain the Mavs' fast-paced offense. The Mavs connected on 48.1% of their field goals, 35.7% of their triples (on 5-of-14 shooting), and 100% of their two free throws. Los Angeles made 40% of its field goals, missed its lone four triple tries, and went 5-of-7 from the foul line (71.4%).

The Mavericks kept the Lakers at bay in the third quarter, marginally outscoring the team 29-25. Max Christie, starting in the stead of Cam Reddish, had a modest night, scoring 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting from the field (1-of-4 from long range) and two boards, though he registered a team-worst -19 during his minutes on the floor.

LA rode a 25-6 run in the fourth quarter to tie things up at 99-99 at the two-minute mark, powered in large part by 16 points from LeBron James in the frame, plus some clutch buckets from Austin Reaves. Sometimes off LeBron James dishes.

The Mavericks were completely out of sorts, didn't tactically employ timeouts, and almost blew this game despite having a 20-point lead at one point.

James, once again hardly looking like the oldest player in the league, took advantage of his entire offensive arsenal tonight. He went 3-of-7 from long range in the period:

It wasn't all James with a side of Reaves (who had nine points in the period), though. Taurean Prince got into the action a bit. He had five points in the frame, highlighted by this baseline midrange take:

For some reason, with LA trailing by just three points and 2.8 seconds remaining regulation, LA ran a play for LeBron James wide open in the corner. He forced up a miss that clanked off the rim. 

Why in that scenario would you count on James to make a clutch three? He's been a solid shooter this season, yes, but why not go for someone more historically better, like Taurean Prince, Reaves (who was inbounding, but perhaps shouldn't have been?) or D'Angelo Russell (who was hanging out in the paint for some reason)?

James led the way for LA with 26 points, again doing most of his damage in the final frame, while shooting 9-of-19 from the field (4-of-9 from deep) and 4-of-7 from the charity stripe. He also pulled down nine rebounds and dished out seven dimes. Anthony Davis had a modest shooting night, but did manage to secure a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double, his 12th of the year. Reaves scored 17, D'Angelo Russell had a Good D'Angelo Russell Game with 15 points, Taurean Prince had 14, and you already know about Christie's 10 points.

Doncic (30 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists) and Irving (28 points, six rebounds) led the way for Dallas. Only one other Maverick, reserve shooting guard Josh Green, scored in double figures for the club. He couldn't be stopped, and often knifed inside for easy lay-ins. Green finished with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting (3-of-6 from deep).

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