February 24, 2018, 2:30 am
The Lakers defeated the Mavericks on Friday night 124-102; in the process they extended their home-win streak to nine games, their best since the 2012 season. Los Angeles led this game from wire-to-wire, never allowing Dallas a chance to compete.
Los Angeles started the game aggressively attacking the Mavericks inside, drawing two quick fouls on Dirk Nowitzki and relegating him to the bench. They jumped out to a 23-5 lead, outscoring the Mavs 14-0 in the paint. The Lakers held Dallas to 29.2 percent field goal shooting in the first quarter.
The Lakers took a 63-41 lead into the half based on their interior dominance and defensive effort. They outscored Dallas 38-6 in the paint for the half and 20-0 in the second quarter alone, while outrebounding them 36-15. They held the Mavericks to 15-of-48 shooting, good for only 31.3 percent.
Wesley Matthews gave the Lakers a bit of a scare early in the third quarter, hitting four consecutive 3-pointers to help cut the lead down to 66-53 before Los Angeles responded with a 7-0 run to extend the lead back to 20 points. One reason was that the Mavericks inexplicably went away from Matthews, cooling him off and curtailing their own momentum. The game was never in question after that point.
Julius Randle recorded his fifth career triple-double and his second against Dallas. Randle was aggressive from the onset, pounding the Mavericks down low relentlessly. He had 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists by halftime. He repeatedly made beautiful passes to his teammates for layups — his vision and timing on his passes was extremely impressive. Randle’s footwork in the post was also noticeably improved. He finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists and a plus-27 rating while shooting 9-of-14 from the field.
Many Lakers joined Randle in delivering exemplary performances, none more impressive than Brandon Ingram who accumulated 15 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals and three blocks while shooting 6-of-9 from the floor. He had one particularly impressive play where he used his full inspector gadget-like wingspan to block a jump shot and then finish the play with a perfect pass to a cutting Randle for a dunk.
The story on the night for the Lakers was the return of Lonzo Ball, who came off the bench to knock down his first shot, a 3-pointer, much to the delight of the crowd. He tallied nine points, seven rebounds and six assists in only 17 minutes. Ball showed great chemistry with Isaiah Thomas in particular, another exciting development on a night full of positive elements for Los Angeles.
Thomas accrued 17 points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals on 5-of-12 shooting and 5-of-5 from the free throw line. He continued to demonstrate his excellent rapport with Ivica Zubac (14 points, six rebounds) and got stronger as the game wore on. He knocked down a rainbow jump shot to end the third quarter and appeared more confident throughout the contest.
Other members of the robust stat line club were Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (15 points, six rebounds, two assists and three steals), Josh Hart (12 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and one steal) and Kyle Kuzma (12 points, three rebounds, one assist and two blocks).
Dallas had seven players in double-figures, including all five starters, but never really matched the Lakers intensity on the evening. Perhaps, all the off-court distractions were too much for the Mavericks to overcome.
Key Stats and Observations
-The Lakers were minus-18 from 3-point range as the Mavericks made 19-of-42 (45.2 percent) compared to 13-of-33 (39.4 percent) for Los Angeles. Dallas actually shot better from 3-point range than they did from 2-point range (36.7 percent).
-Dallas was outshot 40.7 percent vs. 51.6 percent for the game.
-Los Angeles absolutely crushed Dallas on the boards tonight, outrebounding them 62-29 overall and 13-3 on the offensive glass.
-The Lakers demolished the Mavericks in the paint where they outscored them 62-26. This was to be somewhat expected as the Lakers lead the league in points in the paint compared to Dallas who came into the game last in that department.
-The Lakers shot a respectable 15-of-20 (75.0 percent) from the free throw line while restricting Dallas to only 9-of-11 (81.8 percent) attempts from the line.
The Lakers head to Sacramento to take on the Kings on Saturday night.
They will be without Ball, who is expected to miss the game as part of his recovery process from a sprained MCL. His absence will rob fans of an opportunity to watch him duel No. 5 overall draft pick De’Aaron Fox, who has a mini-rivalry with Ball, stemming from their college days and subsequent draft position.
Instead, fans will have to focus their attention on Thomas’ return to Sacramento, where he started his career. He should play a fairly significant role with Ball out of the lineup.
September 14, 2019, 7:27 pmGiannis AntetokounmpoPF, Milwaukee Bucks
In a recent fan question session Bucks' GM Jon Horst hinted towards signing Giannis Antetokounmpo to a supermax extension when eligible.
Horst mentioned that he cannot technically discuss an extension until he is eligible, but said Antetokounmpo will be a Buck for a long time. The Greek Freak will be eligible next summer and is all but sure to get a supermax extension.
Source: Fox Sports Wisconsin on Twitter
September 14, 2019, 2:53 pmTacko FallC, Boston Celtics
Tacko Fall (mild knee sprain) is expected to miss one week after a collision in workouts.
With training camp two weeks away, Fall should be ready to roll by then. He is currently on an Exhibit 10 contract, battling for the final roster spot with Javonte Green (partially guaranteed) and Kaiser Gates (Exhibit 10). Fall is an intriguing talent at 7'7" but is not expected to be fantasy relevant in his first season even if he does make the team with the Celtics already carrying four center eligible players on guaranteed contracts.
Source: Jared Weiss on Twitter
September 14, 2019, 12:14 pmNicolas BatumSG, Charlotte Hornets
According to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, Nicolas Batum and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist have been informed that, "The agenda is youth and development."
The article adds that both players will have a chance to compete for minutes but the Hornets' top priority will be to develop their younger players which bodes well for Dwayne Bacon, Miles Bridges, Devonte Graham, P.J. Washington and Willy Hernangomez. Miles was already putting up near top-100 value to close the season at around 25 minutes per game while the rest of the players could all produce fantasy value if given the minutes so they should at least be put on the watch list to see how the preseason plays out.
Source: Charlotte Observer
September 14, 2019, 10:26 amBogdan BogdanovicSG, Sacramento Kings
Bogdan Bogdanovic finished with 32 points on 10-of-17 shooting and drained seven triples as Serbia topped Czech Republic 90-81 to finish in 5th place.
Bogdanovic also added four rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block and was certainly one of the most impressive players in the tournament. Although he has the talent to be a successful full-time starter, the 27-year old will likely be relegated to a similar 25-27 minute, off-the-bench role he played last season with Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes and newly added Trevor Ariza also on the wings. Nikola Jokic also did his usual thing this game with seven points, 14 rebounds and seven assists. Boban Marjanovic and Nemanja Bejlica were not really involved in this one, playing only two and eight minutes, respectively.
September 14, 2019, 7:40 amDonovan MitchellSG, Utah Jazz
Donovan Mitchell scored 16 points with 10 assists as US beat Poland 87-74 on Saturday to finish seventh place in the tournament.
Mitchell was an efficient 5-of-6 from the field and 4-of-4 from downtown but the bigger story of course was USA's disappointing showing as this was only the second time that they finished outside the top-3 in the FIBA World Cup since 1978. Kemba Walker (neck), Jayson Tatum (ankle) and Marcus Smart (hand/quad/calf) all sat out the final game as they now have two weeks to rest before the start of training camp.
September 13, 2019, 12:54 pmEvan FournierSF, Orlando Magic
Evan Fournier scored 16 points to lead France in their semifinal loss to Argentina by the score of 80-66.
This was a really poor showing all around in an elimination game by the French team. Fournier scored an inefficient 16 and was joined by Frank Ntilikina's 16 as two of just three French players in double figures.
September 13, 2019, 12:51 pmRudy GobertC, Utah Jazz
Rudy Gobert was invisible in France's loss to Argentina in the semifinals of the FIBA World Cup, scoring just three points and pulling down 11 rebounds in 29 minutes.
This just wasn't enough from Gobert, who couldn't impose his will against a weaker Argentina squad on paper. Joining him in the "forgot there was a game" club was Nicolas Batum, who consistently finds a way to do nothing in heavy minutes. Batum's line in this one was a paltry three points (1-of-6 shooting), five boards, one assist and a block.
September 13, 2019, 12:42 pmPatty MillsPG, San Antonio Spurs
Patty Mills was the star for Australia, scoring 34 points and hitting four triples against Spain, but Australia fell in double overtime 95-88.
Mills did as much as he could but he just didn't get enough help from his supporting cast. Joe Ingles couldn't find the basket and only had four points (to go along with 10 rebounds and seven assists). With that off night of shooting from Ingles, the Aussies needed someone like Matthew Dellavedova (six points) or Aron Baynes (six points) to step up.
September 13, 2019, 12:39 pmRicky RubioPG, Phoenix Suns
Ricky Rubio approached a triple-double in the semi-final win over Australia with 19 points, seven boards and 12 assists in 38 minutes.
It was another big line for Rubio in the semis, who has been a stalwart for this Spanish run to the finals. He was inefficient from the field (6-of-19) but ran the offense well and should be a factor again in the final game.
September 13, 2019, 12:35 pmMarc GasolC, Toronto Raptors
Marc Gasol carried Spain to the FIBA World Cup Final in a double-OT win over Australia, finishing with 33 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Gasol had a great outing to lift Spain here and they should have a great shot at winning the title against Argentina. We'll see how this high workload summer affects him going into the new season.