It is a Christmas Day battle in the NBA as the Dallas Mavericks take on the Los Angeles Lakers. Both teams will be looking for their first win of the season. Dallas lost their opener to the Phoenix Suns, 106-102. The Lakers lost to the Clippers, 116-109.
Los Angeles enters as a six-point favorite. The Lakers have won eight of the last nine meetings between these teams, including a 129-114 victory in January.
Mavericks Burned by Suns to Open Season
The Suns rode a seven-point edge in the second quarter to a 106-102 victory. The Suns continued their red-hot performance after last season resumed, taking an eight-point edge into the half, then hung on as the Mavericks attempted to battle back, but could get no closer than four.
Luka Doncic had a big opening night, knocking down 11 of 26 shots for 32 points. It was an impressive performance, considering that he missed all six of his three-point attempts. Six Mavericks players scored in double-digits. Doncic was also tied for the team lead in rebounds with eight and led the team in assists with five.
Dallas allowed 106 in the opening game loss, which was the ninth least amount of points allowed so far. They are shooting 37.0% from the field and 24.3 from three-point range.
First Quarter Onslaught Too Much for Lakers to Overcome
The Los Angeles Clippers outscored the Lakes 39-19 in the first quarter, putting the Lakers in a hole they simply could not overcome. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard led the way for the Clippers, combining for 59.
it was a disappointing performance for a team that received their championship rings before the contest. Lebron James scored 22 to lead L.A. Anthony Davis chipped in 18, but he was a -18 in his time on the court. Point guard Dennis Schroeder led the team with 12 rebounds and eight assists. He also chipped in 14 points, narrowly missing the triple-double.
The Lakers shot 46.9% in the opening loss. They were 9 of 29 from three-point range. James sprained his ankle in the opening game but is listed as probable for this contest.