February 24, 2018 / 6:28 AM / a month ago

Lakers rout Mavs in Ball's return

Isaiah Thomas made his home debut for his new team Friday night, contributing 17 points to the Los Angeles Lakers’ ninth consecutive home win in beating the Dallas Mavericks 124-102 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Lonzo Ball returned from a 15-game absence due to a sprained left MCL to chip in with nine points off the bench, helping the Lakers snap a three-game losing streak.

Harrison Barnes and Wesley Matthews shared game-high scoring honors with 19 points apiece for the Mavericks, who lost their third straight.

Even with Thomas and Ball not in the starting unit, the Lakers never trailed in the game, jumping out to an immediate 8-0 lead with the help of a Josh Hart 3-pointer.

Ball buried a 3-pointer shortly after entering the game midway through the first period, extending the Los Angeles lead to 23-5.

J.J. Barea connected on a pair of 3-pointers early in the second quarter as the Mavericks rallied within 34-26.

But Dallas got no closer the rest of the way, with Thomas short-circuiting a Mavericks threat in the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer after the lead had shrunk to 12.

Thomas, who went for 22 points in his Lakers debut, a 130-123 loss at Dallas, hit five of his 12 shots, including a pair of 3-pointers. He had totaled just 10 points, missing all five of his 3-point attempts, in the Lakers’ most recent two games.

Ball, whose nine points were the product of three 3-pointers, also found time for seven rebounds and six assists in just 17 minutes. The rookie hadn’t played since Jan. 13, when he had nine points in a 107-101 win at Dallas.

Julius Randle recorded an 18-point, 12-rebound, 10-assist triple-double for the Lakers, who haven’t lost a home game since falling to Charlotte on Jan. 5. The victory gave Los Angeles a winning record at home (15-14).

The triple-double was the fifth of Randle’s career.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (15 points), Brandon Ingram (15), Ivica Zubac (14), Kyle Kuzma (12) and Hart (12) made it seven players in double figures for the Lakers.

Matthews scored 15 of his 19 points on five 3-pointers, as the Mavericks made more 3-pointers (19) than 2-pointers (18) in the game.

Yogi Ferrell (13), Dennis Smith Jr. (13), Barea (12), Dirk Nowitzki (11) and Doug McDermott (10) also scored in double figures for the Mavericks, who complete a two-day, two-game trip Saturday at Utah.

Barnes had a team-high seven rebounds and Barea a team-high six assists for Dallas.

—Field Level Media

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