From Brian Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: Limited to a very reasonable 43 percent in the first half, Dallas found far more success in the second half, hitting 21 of their 37 attempts from the floor (57 percent). Dirk Nowitzki, handled relatively well in the first half (12 points on 11 attempts) boosted that number to 16 on an equal number of hoists after the break. From beyond the arc, Dallas hit five-of-nine. Credit the Mavs for their excellent ball movement, as they racked up 16 assists on the aforementioned field goals, consistently forcing the Lakers into awkward rotations and patiently using the entire floor to generate clean looks deep into possessions. Chide L.A. for sloppiness on their end. Mistakes from the home team, as the offense devolved with the Mavs dropping in zone sets and packing the paint no matter the defensive formation, helped fuel the Dallas attack, as well. The Mavs were treated to more long run outs and transition chances, capitalizing on the other end. Dallas hit five of their final 10 shots over the last four-plus minutes.
From Sebastian Pruiti, NBA Playbook: Scoring from the baseline off of sets is incredibly difficult in the NBA mostly due because of the lack of space along the baseline when a player catches the ball. This is why you most often see teams enter the ball to the corner and quickly kick it to the outside versus seeing an actual set get ran along the baseline. However, in the 2nd quarter, the Lakers were able to run a great set that took advantage of both Lakers’ bigs (Gasol and Bynum) strengths:
From Sebastian Pruiti, NBA Playbook: After taking the basketball the length of the court after a timeout, Kobe Bryant was fouled by Jason Kidd, taking the Mavericks foul to give in the final minutes. The result was the Lakers taking the ball on the side, looking to get a look trailing by one point. Without taking a timeout, Phil Jackson instructed his team to run one of their late game go-to sets when taking the ball out from the side. However, poor execution resulted in a turnover from the Lakers, who eventually lost the game:
From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: Are these Dallas Mavericks different? Different than the team that falls short, that so many pundits thought didn’t know how to close, that was too old or too soft. The one that keeps getting smoked in the playoffs. Or was it just the Lakers having one of their patented lapses? Combined with Kobe missing a good look at a three to win it? One game does not answer those questions. But for that one game the Mavs were different enough to be able to capitalize on Lakers lapses, the Mavs were the team that held their composure down 16 (after it seemed they would melt down at the end of the first half) and kept doing what they do. They were the team that executed at the end. They got the Game 1 win 96-94 and lead the Lakers 1-0 in the best-of-seven second round matchup.
From Dexter Fishmore, Silver Screen and Roll: The Lakers almost got away with it. They very nearly escaped Game One with a victory despite no-shows from a few of their key guys and sloppy execution from the rest. Unfortunately, the Dallas Mavericks are not the New Orleans Hornets. They play with a skilled precision befitting their German star, and they’re plenty good enough to punish the Lakers when the latter succumb to their worst habits. The Mavs steadied themselves and kept their wits about them tonight even though they trailed by 16 in the third quarter. Down the stretch they made play after play at the offensive end while the champs slowly went to pieces. When Kobe Bryant’s potential game-winner clanged off the rim with seconds to play, a nauseating reality settled over Laker fans: the purp and yellow have yet again coughed up home-court advantage just one game into a series. They have 48 hours to get it together for Game Two, which is uncomfortably close to being a must-win.
From Alex Groberman, Opposing Views: Next time Kobe Bryant should probably save his patented I’m-better-than-you strut until the final buzzer. The Los Angeles Lakers, somehow, managed to cough up a 16-point third quarter lead en route to a 94-96 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night. In the process, they also lost any semblance of a homecourt and mental advantage that they may have had over their opponents Bryant was great in spurts, but awful late. Still, despite a turnover and a mess of a sequence which led to another turnover, the Lakers captain had a shot at winning Game 1 for his club. Catching the ball with about three seconds remaining, he opted to take a three-pointer in rhythm — when a two would have sufficed — which subsequently clanked off the rim.
From Hannah Bradley, Lakers Nation: The last time the Lakers and Mavericks met on March 31, 2011, a battle ensued. As Steve Blake drove to the basket, he had the ball knocked out of bounds, the same direction that he was heading after some defensive contact. But this wasn’t any defensive contact, it was a shove from Dallas’ Jason Terry, expressing the real frustration of being down 17 in the fourth quarter against a team the Mavericks had been competing with for second seed in the closing weeks of the season. Steve Blake retaliated, got into Terry’s face, and after the referees tried to separate the two athletes, Matt Barnes made his presence known with a counter shove on Terry.
From Jeff Miller, OC Register: He had a terrible turnover, was out-muscled and fell down resulting in another turnover and missed the game-winning shot. And Kobe Bryant managed to make all that mess in just the final 20.9 seconds of the Lakers’ Game 1 loss to Dallas on Monday, a defeat that correctly can be described as shocking. The Lakers simply don’t lose these games. Not when leading by 16 points in the third quarter. Not when up seven to start the fourth. Not when Bryant gets so hot he’s swaggering all over the court and one woman sitting in the front row keeps standing to blow him kisses. But this one, despite the way it looked at the end, with Bryant’s greasy fingerprints smudging everything, wasn’t his fault. It was everyone else, from Coach Phil Jackson’s distribution of minutes to Ron Artest’s staggering no-show to an offense that found a way to present Andrew Bynum with only eight field-goal attempts.