LOS ANGELES (AP)—The Dallas Mavericks will remember the night they finally beat the Lakers in Los Angeles.
“Obviously, up to this point, they thought we couldn’t play with them. Shaq made a lot of comments about us being pretenders and not contenders,” Antoine Walker said after the Mavericks 13-year run of futility on the Lakers’ home court ended with a 110-93 victory Friday night.
The win came exactly 13 years to the date of Dallas’ last victory over the Lakers in Los Angeles.
“Hopefully, we can keep this game in our minds as the season goes on,” Walker said. “We’ve lost games on the road because we always get down on ourselves when shots are not falling and we don’t keep playing.
“That’s a team you’ve got to go through to win a championship, and this is obviously a good start in the right direction,” Walker said.
The defeat was the Lakers’ first at Staples Center this season after 12 victories and snapped their regular-season home winning streak at 27 games.
“Forgot what it felt like,” Karl Malone said. “We’ve been flirting with one of these the last two or three games. They wanted it more than we did. We’ve been kind of sleepwalking.”
Nowitzki added 12 rebounds and Walker grabbed 10.
“This was the last arena I haven’t won in, or the last team I hadn’t beaten since I bought the team,” said Mark Cuban, who bought the team nearly four years ago. “I’m happy for Nellie and I’m happy for all the guys because we’ve struggled so much on the road.”
Shaquille O’Neal had 25 points and 14 rebounds, Kobe Bryant had 15 points and Malone added 14 points. Gary Payton was ejected for two technical fouls in the first quarter, and his backup, Derek Fisher, shot 0-for-10.
“We certainly have been inching toward that fallout in the last couple games, so it’s no surprise to us that it happened,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.
The Lakers won the first two games against Dallas this season, with the Mavericks never holding a lead either time. But it was completely different Friday.
Dallas started quickly and had the Lakers down 33-19 after a wild first quarter.
The Lakers had four technical fouls in the period, including two that resulted in Payton’s ejection.
“At the start of the game, they came out and made a couple of shots and the technicals really got us out of sync. From that point on, it was an uphill battle,” Bryant said.
While bringing the ball upcourt, Payton was called for a technical foul. Referee Steve Javie asked for the ball and Payton responded by tossing it past him, earning a second technical and automatic ejection.
“Maybe we thought about it instead of playing,” Malone said. “Any time you lose a guy, we have to step up as a team and continue to play and I don’t think we did that.”
Barely a minute later, Malone apparently uttered an expletive at Nowitzki and received a technical from Javie. Earlier in the period, O’Neal was called for committing a flagrant foul against Nowitzki.
“Steve Javie let it be known that there was not going to be any nonsense going on,” Dallas center Danny Fortson said. “I thought he did a good job of officiating the game and making sure nothing got out of control.”
O’Neal sat most of the second quarter after picking up his third foul. His fourth came at 7:46 of the third when the Lakers trailed by 12 points.
The Lakers cut their deficit to six, but the Mavericks used a 17-8 run to close the third quarter ahead 88-73. Howard had seven points and Nash hit six straight free throws in the spurt.
The animosity continued in the fourth, when the Lakers fell behind 97-77. O’Neal dunked and pushed Walker, then jawed in Walker’s face coming upcourt. Each received technicals.
O’Neal and Bryant scored all but two of the Lakers’ 20 points in the fourth, but they couldn’t get the deficit under double digits.
The Mavericks went into Hack-a-Shaq mode, and it worked. O’Neal missed 7-of-10 in the period. He left for good with 2:10 remaining.
“It’s tough to get a rhythm going when they do that. It’s all about momentum when you’re trying to make a comeback,” Bryant said. “So it was asmart strategy on their part.”
Dallas coach Don Nelson earned his 1,110th career victory, tying him with recently retired Miami Heat coach Pat Riley for second on the all-time list. Lenny Wilkens is first with 1,292 wins. … It was Nelson’s 2,999th regular-season game as a coach and a player. Wilkens has played and coached in an NBA-leading 3,401 games. “I’m passing some good ones, but I’m not in their caliber or their class,” Nelson said. “I’m a good basketball coach, but there are lots of guys like me around that do a good job. I’ve just been fortunate to do it for a long, long time.” … Payton had four points and one assist when he was ejected. … Dallas reserve C Shawn Bradley sustained a back bruise that caused spasms. … Newly elected Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and wife Maria Shriver attended the game, along with comedians David Spade and Steve Harvey and actors Kevin Costner and Jack Nicholson. Schwarzenegger sat in a box andwas cheered in the fourth quarter.