In what could be a preview of a second round of the Western Conference playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks displayed some serious aggressiveness, tempered players and even ejections! Betting lines.
The Lakers showed why they aren’t going to be bullied around or anything in their quest for a 3rd consecutive NBA championship. With strong performances by Kobe Bryant who scored 28 points, and frequently-injured center Andrew Bynum, who had 18 points and 13 rebounds, the Lakers managed to take over a testy match by grabbing a home victory 110-82 over the Mavs, in a game where 5 players got ejected.
Starting the fourth quarter, the Lakers’ Matt Barnes and Steve Blake and the Mavs’ Jason Terry and Brendan Haywood were thrown out of the game following a shoving match under the basket. Los Angeles’ Shannon Brown was later ejected in a separate incident.
Dunking Deutschman Dirk Nowitzki had an outstanding performance but wasn’t enough to avoid the loss. Nowitzki had 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Mavericks, whose five-game winning streak ended. Sports scores.
The Lakers entered Thursday’s matchup just a half-game ahead of the Mavericks in a tough battle for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
Things got out of proportion with about 9 minutes left in the 4th quarter when reserve guard J-Terry came out pushing Blake’s back as he drove to the rim. Blake and Terry went at it, before Barnes arrived and pushed Terry away aggressively.
After the incident, Barnes was restrained by Mavericks assistant coach Terry Stotts in front of the Dallas bench. While attempting to walk towards the Lakers’ bench Barnes smacked Stotts and sent him flying into the first row of fans sitting courtside.
To wrap up, Los Angeles and San Antonio each have eight games remaining in the regular season. The two will face up in the end of the regular season in what could be a decisive showdown for the top spot at the West.
It’s worth saying that the Lakers are putting up a strong performance since the All-Star break. They are playing so tough that the rest of the league should beware. L.A. is now 16-1, winning games by an average of over 10 PPG. Compared to their last two championship teams, the Lakers are closing stronger thanks to a defense allowing just 91.2 PPG since the break. Just to let you know how prepared they are with the playoffs just a few regular season games away. Basketball scores.
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