LOS ANGELES — This homestand couldn’t have come at a better time for the Lakers, and against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night they appeared determined to not waste the opportunity to play at Crypto.com Arena for the next 1½ weeks.
They didn’t have the type of slow start that has plagued them at times this season. They kept their turnovers (10) to a minimum while sharing the ball (33 assists) and taking advantage of those extra scoring opportunities.
The result: a 127-110 victory over the Mavericks (24-18) that moved the Lakers back to .500 (21-21) to begin the second half of the regular season.
Anthony Davis had 28 points and 12 rebounds and finished one assist shy of a triple-double, D’Angelo Russell scored 29 points and the Lakers overcame Luka Doncic’s 33-point triple-double to win for the fourth time in six games.
Davis shot 12 for 17 from the field, while Russell shot 11 for 20 (5 for 7 from 3-point range). The duo combined for 23 of their points (Davis had 12) in the third quarter – a period when the Lakers outscored the Mavericks 42-27 to blow the game open.
LeBron James finished with 25 points, eight assists and eight rebounds while Austin Reaves added 14 points and seven rebounds.
It was James’ behind-the-back pass in transition to Reaves for a 3-pointer that put the Lakers ahead 120-97 with 4:44 remaining, essentially sealing the victory. Mavericks coach Jason Kidd called a timeout and emptied his bench after Reaves’ 3-pointer.
The game was tight for most of the first half, with both sides struggling from the perimeter: they combined to make just seven of their 32 3-point attempts in the first half, leaving the Lakers with a 55-53 lead.
But the Lakers’ shots started to fall after halftime, while the Mavericks remained cold.
The Lakers made five of their six 3-point attempts in the third, while the Mavericks knocked down just three of 12. The Lakers also turned six Dallas turnovers into 13 points. The Lakers led 62-59 two minutes into the quarter before going on a 27-8 run over the next five minutes.
Returning after missing three games because of a sprained right ankle, Doncic added 13 rebounds and 10 assists to his game-high point total for his seventh triple-double of the season and 63rd overall.
Dereck Lively II added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Mavericks, who dropped to 5-4 in January. All-Star guard Kyrie Irving had an uncharacteristic off night, finishing with just 12 points on 4-of-16 shooting.
The Lakers shot 53.8% from the field (49 for 91) and had a 32-7 advantage in fast-break points.
The Lakers next host the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.
More to come on this story.