Well, before the series between the Mavericks and Lakers started, I did hear some predictions of a sweep…except it was from Laker fans. It was a little crazy of a prediction, but the Lakers are the 2-time defending NBA champs and we all know the Mavs playoff history…so not the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this Mavs team is unlike any other before it. This is a team of resolve and grit. The Mavs and Lakers both entered game 3 knowing that a win for either team would be huge. The Lakers would be without Ron Artest for this one after his late game close line on Dallas guard JJ Barea in game 2. Odom started in his place giving the Lakers starting lineup even more size than it already had. Early it looked as though the Lakers might be able to impose their will inside in game 3. LA did heavily outscore Dallas in points in the paint in game 3. The Mavs counter would be the 3 pointer in this game. The Mavs shot 41.4% as a team (12-29) from the 3 point line, including 5-8 in the fourth quarter. The Mavs are out shooting the Lakers 39.2% (29-74) to 19.2% (10-52) from behind the 3 point line through the first three games of the series. Dirk provided 32 points and 9 boards to the cause. “Dirk Nowitzki made it happen…” Coach Rick Carlisle stated after the game. Jason Terry added 23 off the bench. Several times Peja would miss a few threes and I would be yelling at Carlisle on the TV to take him out and he did a pretty good job of letting Peja get some looks but not waste possessions and be a liability on D for the Mavs. His rotation was great again in game 3, helping Peja score 11 of his 15 in a big fourth quarter for the Mavs. Some great play and mistakes by the Lakers down the stretch gave the Mavs the advantage late. The Mavs took the momentum and the game from the Lakers in the fourth quarter going 9-15, including 5-8 from the 3 point line. The Mavs have out played the Lakers in each fourth quarter of this series outscoring them 82-55 in the three fourth quarters combined. The Mavs ended the game on a 20-7 run putting the cap on a 98-92 win. For the Lakers Bynum finished with 21 and 10, Kobe 17 and 6 assists, Odom 18 and 6, and Gasol 12 and 8. Gasol seemed to be out of it upstairs again in game 3. Coach Phil Jackson was about as animated as he gets a few times throughout the game trying to get through to Gasol. Might it just be the presence of the Dallas bigs constantly playing physical with Gasol or that he has to expend so much on the defensive end in this series? 27 of Dirks 32 points in game 3 were scored with Gasol defending him. Whatever it is, it has defiantly affected the Lakers ability to win games in this series. Dallas looks to close the series out in game 4 on Sunday afternoon in Dallas.
Will this series end on Sunday in Dallas? I think so.
About the Author
Written by Andy R Strom
I was born in Dallas, TX and raised in the suburb of Coppell, TX. I grew up eating and breathing sports. I "buy local" when it comes to my teams, Mavs, Cowboys, Rangers, Stars, Longhorns. I am 28 years old and currently live in Wisconsin where I graduated college from the Univerisy of Wisonsin Whitewater with a degree in health, human performance and recreation with a minor in coaching. I still follow my teams just as much now as when I am living back in Texas, they're just a little harder to see in person now. However, I follow all major sports and teams and love a good debate.