"OK, let me get this straight — when I shoot 3-pointers in the third quarter against the Warriors, I get benched. But when Pau does it against the Mavericks on national TV — in overtime ... twice — everyone loves him? Oh, OK. That's definitely cool. That's definitely fair. That's totally fine." — Andrew Bynum, probably.
Sorry, Andrew, but your piddlin' 20 percent mark from 3-point range (1 of 5, that is) just doesn't compare to Pau Gasol's blistering 28 percent clip. Spend some more time in the gym getting shots up, and then maybe we can get you some corner looks in OT. At the very least, we'll bring it to Coach Kobe.
Gasol's two triples made him to 7 of 25 from long range on the year, the high-water mark for both attempts and makes in a single season during his 11-year NBA career. More importantly, they helped the Los Angeles Lakers, playing in their fifth straight game without the injured Kobe Bryant, keep pace with a Dallas Mavericks team fighting for its playoff life.
The four-time All-Star scored eight of his 20 points in the extra frame, hitting two free throws with less than a second remaining on the clock to give the Lakers a two-possession lead and nail down a 112-108 win over the Mavs in L.A.'s customary Sunday afternoon showcase game on ABC. He also added 10 points, five assists and a steal in a team-leading 44:16 of floor time.
It's the third time in Gasol's career that he's hit more than one 3-pointer in a game, and his first as a member of the Lakers — the other two games were with the Memphis Grizzlies, back in November 2003 and December 2006. They weren't his first ever in an overtime period, though; Gasol knocked one down in extra time against the Utah Jazz back in January, according to Basketball-Reference.com.
Pau's first 3-pointer rankled Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who, like many watching the game, thought that Lakers forward Matt Barnes interfered with the shot before it went in. (You can see it in the video clip above.) From Jeff Caplan at ESPN Dallas:
The basket was ruled good and the Lakers took a 103-101 lead.
"Any potential basket interference in the last two minutes of a game or overtime should be reviewed," Cuban said he wrote in his email to the league. "I didn't bring up that play up at all.
"You've got to make that reviewable. You have to ask them to change the rule."
The current rules do not allow for such a play to be reviewed.
If you're a ref, even if you're not 100 percent sure if Matt Barnes did something wrong, you should probably call him for it, because, y'know, he's Matt Barnes. Unfortunately for Mavs fans, though, the 3-pointer stood and the Lakers took the lead.
We all had a lot of fun with that joke I wrote up top about Andrew Bynum being mad at the theoretical existence of a Spaniard 3-point double standard, but he was at times dominant in the middle for L.A. on Sunday despite hitting just 9 of 24 attempts, scoring 23 points and grabbing 16 boards in just under 44 minutes of work. That's why people don't want you chucking from long range, Mr. Bynum — because you can control the pace of a game, even when you shoot like bleep.
With the win, L.A. moves to 4-1 without Bryant, who's been resting a shin injury, and 39-22 on the season. They now have a 1.5-game cushion on the Los Angeles Clippers for the Pacific Division crown and the Western Conference's No. 3 seed with five games to play; the Clips (37-23) have six games remaining.
While the Mavs remain confident they can make a run to defend their title, every loss hurts at this stage of the game. Dallas dropped to 34-27, a half-game up on the Denver Nuggets for the sixth seed out west and 1.5 games above the eighth-place Houston Rockets.
Video via our man @Jose3030.