Five takeaways from the Lakers’ 114-103 defeat of the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night at Staples Center:
1. LeBron James took all the blame for the Lakers’ slow start against Dallas because of his one-for-six shooting, two points and four turnovers in the first quarter.
In the process of all that, the Lakers shot 37.5% from the field, missed all seven of their three-point attempts and fell into a 13-point hole that grew to 15 points in the second quarter.
The Lakers had played Thursday night, but the back-to-back games were at home.
“Coming off a back-to-back, it just took us a quarter to get into it. It started with me. I was horrendous in the first quarter,” James said. “I told the team it was all my wrongdoing. I had four turnovers, I wasn’t as engaged as I should have been to start the game, and it resulted in us not having a very good first quarter at all.”
James and the Lakers eventually righted themselves, outscoring the Mavericks 84-58 after James reentered the game with 8:39 left in the second quarter and the Lakers trailing 45-30.
James finished with 28 points on 12-for-21 shooting from the field and he did not commit another turnover after those four in the first 12 minutes.
2. “Boo, make your free throws,” a fan yelled after Kyle Kuzma missed a technical-foul shot during the third quarter.
Yeah, the fans have had enough of seeing the Lakers shoot brick after brick after brick at the free-throw line. They made 21 of 32 (65.5%) against the Mavericks.
3. The Lakers attempted plenty of three-pointers, but they were just adequate in doing so. They shot just 30% (nine of 30) from three-point range.
Lonzo Ball was one of five from three-point range, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was one of six, and Josh Hart one of four. James helped them out by going two for four.
4. Despite fouling out, Ball had a solid game for the Lakers. He scored 10 points on four-for-nine shooting. He had four assists and five steals.
5. In the second half, the Lakers improved their defense in a mighty way. They held the Mavericks to 45 points after giving up 58 in the first half.