EditorsNote: rewords third graf
Brook Lopez scored 22 points, 17 of them in the first half, and Julius Randle added 20 points and 10 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the visiting Dallas Mavericks 103-93 on Wednesday at Staples Center.
Both teams have already been eliminated from postseason contention.
The Lakers led just 87-85 after a jumper by Dallas’ Doug McDermott with 7:33 to play, but Los Angeles pulled away over the next four minutes to build a 94-86 advantage. Two free throws by Randle with 1:09 remaining pushed the Lakers’ lead to 10 points, and that was enough to finish off Dallas.
Kyle Kuzma added 18 points off the bench, and Brandon Ingram contributed 13 as the Lakers won for just the second time in their past seven games. Los Angeles outshot the Mavericks 46.8 percent to 39.3 percent in the game and posted a 49-40 edge in rebounding.
Harrison Barnes led Dallas with 17 points, none of which came in the fourth quarter. Dennis Smith Jr. scored 14, Dirk Nowitzki added 13 points and Yogi Ferrell pumped in 12 off the bench for the Mavericks, who lost for the sixth time in their past seven games.
Dallas forged a 56-55 lead at halftime behind 14 points from Smith and 10 from Ferrell. The game was tied 13 times and there were nine lead changes before the break.
The Lakers outshot Dallas 54 percent to 48 percent and owned a 22-17 rebounding edge in the first half, but Los Angeles also had 10 turnovers.
Both teams tasted the lead in the third quarter, with Dallas ahead by as many as 13 points, 74-61, on a 3-pointer by Barnes with 5:31 to play in the period. However, the final five minutes belonged to Los Angeles, which ran off 21 of the next 28 points to take an 82-81 advantage into the final 12 minutes of play.
The Mavericks head home to host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday while Los Angeles welcomes the Milwaukee Bucks in the second game of a three-game homestand.
--Field Level Media