NBA regular season

Doncic, Mavericks use massive 3rd quarter to down LeBron, Lakers

Doncic, Mavericks use massive 3rd quarter to down LeBron, Lakers

SLUMP. LeBron James and the Lakers absorb their fourth straight defeat.

Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

LeBron James breaches the 30-point mark for the seventh straight game, but the Lakers get outscored by 30 points in the third quarter as the Mavericks triumph

Luka Doncic scored 32 points, 9 nine rebounds, and dished out 9 assists, and the Dallas Mavericks outscored the visiting Los Angeles Lakers by 30 points in the third quarter to take control in a 124-115 Christmas Day win on Sunday, December 25 (Monday, December 26, Manila time).

The Lakers held a 54-43 lead at halftime behind LeBron James’ strong start, but they gave up a season-high 51 points to the Mavericks in a pivotal third quarter. James went on to finish with 38 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists.

Dallas’ 51-21 eruption in the stanza flipped what had been a Los Angeles advantage of as many as 14 points in the first half to a 21-point Mavericks lead in the second half.

Los Angeles pulled to within 10 points early in the fourth quarter, but Dallas had an answer each time the Lakers threatened to move within a single-digit margin.

The Mavericks put the game away with a 9-0 run lasting 1:21 down the stretch, capped when Doncic connected on a three-pointer in front of the Dallas bench. Doncic exchanged high fives with his teammates on the sideline after effectively snuffing the Lakers’ comeback hopes.

Christian Wood finished the game with a flourish, including a rebound to help set up Doncic’s final three-pointer. Wood also delivered a putback dunk down the stretch – 2 of his 30 points – and made 1 of his 4 steals late.

He added 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Spencer Dinwiddie distributed another 8 assists, as 31 of Dallas’ 44 made field goals were assisted.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, finished with just 18 assists on its 39 made baskets.

Dallas connected on 44 of 84 field goal attempts, including 18 of 44 from three-point range. Tim Hardaway Jr. shot 6 of 14 from beyond the arc en route to 26 points.

Russell Westbrook scored 17 points off the bench for the Lakers. Austin Reaves added 16 points. No other Los Angeles scorer other than James produced more than 9 points. –

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