Lakers wrap up road trip with rout of Mavs

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


DALLAS -- The Los Angeles Lakers finally delivered a little Showtime Saturday night to prop up an otherwise disappointing road trip.
Blistering first-half shooting set up the 115-89 rout of the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center, the type of high-octane performance -- if not the massive scoring discrepancy -- the Lakers hope can become more routine under new coach Mike D'Antoni.
L.A. led by as many as 37 points in the third quarter as D'Antoni, still limping from knee replacement surgery before taking the job, evened his record at 2-2. The Lakers also evened their record at 7-7 and won handily despite playing for the fourth time in five nights.
The Mavs had not played since Wednesday's win over the New York Knicks and fell to 7-7 while hearing "Let's Go Lakers" chants in their home building.
"It was embarrassing before the 'Let's Go Lakers' chants," Mavs forward Elton Brand said. "It was embarrassing before that. We were down 30 points to a team we beat with Steve Nash playing (in the season opener) and this is a different coach. I thought it was embarrassing well before that. Hopefully, that's etched in our memory and we will be able to play them harder next time."
The Lakers came to Dallas looking to snap a two-game losing skid and for their first road win of the season. They played determined to achieve both from the start with torrid shooting, better than 60 percent from the field for most of the first half that fueled a 65-38 halftime lead.
"That start helped our defense and that's what defense is all about," D'Antoni said. "We talked about certain things and they came out and did it. They were very focused with a lot of energy and this was the fourth game in five nights and they had it. So we should expect this every night."
The Lakers sizzled from behind the 3-point arc, making 8 of 10 in the opening 24 minutes. Metta World Peace set the tone, scoring 16 of his 19 points and hitting his first four 3-point attempts in the first quarter, and Jodie Meeks came off the bench and hit both of his attempts from behind the arc.
"I thought Artest (World Peace) was the one that got them going," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "He blew by us twice for layups, he hit two or three 3s in the first quarter. It got them going and it got them in a really tough mode defensively and we didn't execute well against it."
Lakers reserve forward Antawn Jamison recorded a double-double in the first half and finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds.
Kobe Bryant, who also finished with 19 points, drilled a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the first half for the 27-point margin. Dwight Howard, coming off consecutive single-digit scoring games, had 15 points and seven rebounds. Pau Gasol, after being benched in the fourth quarter Friday night at Memphis, rebounded with 13 points and nine rebounds.
"They played great," D'Antoni said of Howard and Gasol. "The thing is, they can dominate getting three shots, they can dominate getting 30 shots. Everybody's putting energy out there and a team will guard you the way they guard you, and something's going to happen."
Dallas didn't exceed 50 points until Vince Carter's 3-pointer at the 2:51 mark of the third quarter. It cut the deficit to 34 points, 85-51.
Carter led Dallas with 16 points. O.J. Mayo, red-hot this season, cooled off with just 13 points, his lowest output since the second game of the season. Rookie reserve forward Jae Crowder had 15 points and Shawn Marion finished with 10.
Barely four minutes into the second quarter the Lakers led 46-25, a cushion that would shrink to 15 before another L.A. run that put three Lakers into double-figure scoring by the half.
The Lakers begin a three-game homestand on Tuesday against Indiana.
NOTES: One night after Pau Gasol stated he'd like more touches closer to the basket after sitting for the entirety of the fourth quarter in the loss at Memphis, coach Mike D'Antoni said Gasol will have to get used to shooting more jump shots in his system. "Well, yeah, because you've got a new guy named Dwight Howard down there." ... The Lakers avoided their first 0-5 road start since the 1993-94 season when they lost their first six. ... Mavs swingman Vince Carter played in his 1,000th career game Saturday. He's started 948 of those games. ... Despite missing Dirk Nowitzki, the franchise's career scoring leader, all season, Dallas entered Saturday's game ranked fourth in scoring at 101.8 points per game. ... Mavs forward Troy Murphy returned to action after leaving Wednesday's game with an upper respiratory infection.