Antawn Jamison scored seven of his 26 points during an 18-2 spurt in the third quarter that turned a suddenly tight game into a rout, sending the Mavericks past the injury-depleted Lakers 106-87 Thursday night.
While extending their best winning streak this season to six straight, the Mavs also came close to matching a 26-point blowout victory they enjoyed early last season when the Lakers were without Shaquille O’Neal.
They are now, too, and they’re also missing Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone. As a result, they’ve dropped three straight and four of five games. They’ve also lost nine straight on the road, their longest skid since dropping 10 in a row in 1963-64.
“They’re still the Lakers,” said Jamison, who tied his season high for points despite playing just 27 minutes. “When it says `Lakers’ on their chest, we knew they would fight back. They played with a lot of energy early in the third period, but we stayed poised and patient.”
Michael Finley led Dallas with 31 points. Antoine Walker had 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, and Dirk Nowitzki had 16 points and nine rebounds. Jamison, who shot 10-of-13, also had nine rebounds.
The Mavs capitalized on O’Neal’s absence to score 50 points in the paint. They also outscored Los Angeles 29-4 on the fast break and held the Lakers to just six offensive rebounds, with half those coming in the fourth quarter.
“I think we did an excellent job of moving the ball around,” Jamison said. “We just did a tremendous job of getting everybody involved. It makes it difficult to defend us.”
Devean George led Los Angeles with a season-high 24 points. Slava Medvedenko and Kareem Rush each scored 18. Luke Walton, making his first career start, had just two points in 23 minutes. He and the team’s four healthy reserves each made only one field goal.
Rookie Brian Cook is no longer a healthy reserve. He broke his right pinkie and coach Phil Jackson said “it doesn’t look good for him.”
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” veteran Bryon Russell said of the team’s frequent injuries.
Despite all the Lakers’ problems, the win was still sweet for Dallas and its fans.
After all, the Mavs are just 21-82 against the Lakers all-time, which means they’ve won about one in every five. Yet they’ve actually won two in a row, including a rare road victory in December. Dallas’ consecutive wins are its first against Los Angeles in more than 13 years.
It also is the first time since that same season, 1990-91, that the Mavericks haven’t lost the season series to the Lakers; they tied 2-2.
In those two Los Angeles wins this season, Dallas never even led. The first was in the season opener in Los Angeles and the second came Dec. 4 in Dallas. The Lakers haven’t won on the road since.
After trailing by as many as 17 in the first half and 13 at halftime, the Lakers tied the game at 65 four minutes into the third quarter on a jumper by Medvedenko.
Then Jamison took over, hitting a layup and two free throws for some breathing room. After a basket by George, Jamison answered with another layup. A wide-open 3-pointer by Walker followed, then a jumper from Finley prompted a timeout by the Lakers.
Finley came back with a 3-pointer, then Walker made a nifty bank shot between three defenders, although he failed to turn it into a three-point play. Jamison capped the run with another layup.
“I told them it was a good comeback, but it wasn’t enough,” Jackson said. “After that we had no answer at all.”
The Lakers finished the quarter with just four points in the last 8:01. They improved a little in the fourth to keep from topping last season’s 98-72 rout, a game in which they scored the second-fewest points and had the worst shootingpercentage in franchise history.
Malone will be with the Lakers in Utah on Saturday night, marking his first trip back since leaving the Jazz, but he won’t play. … Dallas plays at Chicago on Friday, then the Sacramento Kings visit on Sunday. … Mavs rookie Marquis Daniels (flu) won’t make the trip to Chicago on Friday. … Walton became the second rookie to make his first start in as many nights. Cook did it Wednesday night against Memphis. Before them, the last Lakers rookie to startwas Mark Madsen in April 2001.