Anthony Davis scored 28 points and LeBron James and Montrezl Harrell added 22 each, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 138-115 victory over the Dallas Mavericks Friday evening at Staples Center.
Following a season-opening 116-109 loss to the Clippers Tuesday when they never led, the Lakers never trailed after the four-minute, five-second mark of the first quarter and took the lead for good with 3:22 left in the first quarter with a 9-2 run.
The Lakers led 33-30 at the end of the first quarter, 69-57 at halftime and 99-85 entering the fourth quarter.
The closest the Mavericks (0-2) got in the second half was nine, 106-97, with 7:59 to play as Josh Richardson’s 3-point basket concluded a 10-2 run.
The Lakers (1-1) responded with a 10-3 run that included 3-point baskets by reserves Markieff Morris and Alex Caruso to take a 116-100 lead with 5:40 remaining.
The Lakers led by at least 14 and as many as 27 for the remainder of the game.
The Lakers had 35 second-chance points to none for Dallas as they led 17-3 in offensive rebounds, including a game-high five by Harrell, a 6-foot, 7-inch forward-center signed as a free agent in November after playing the previous three seasons with the Clippers.
“You can’t win a game where the second-chance points are 35-0,” said guard Luka Doncic, who led six Mavericks in double-figures with 27 points. “It’s as simple as that. We box out, we win the game.”
The Lakers out-rebounded Dallas 53-27, with center Marc Gasol pulling down nine in 19:34 and Davis eight. The 27 rebounds were the least by a Laker opponent since Jan. 21, 2011 when the Denver Nuggets had 27.
The Lakers were the first team to score at least 35 second-chance points and hold their opponent to zero since at least the 1996-97 season. It was the most second-chance points scored by the Lakers since Nov. 12, 1996, when they also had 35.
Harrell scored 21 of his points over the final three quarters and made 10 of 13 shots in 28:26 of play. Harrell became the first Laker reserve to score at least 22 points and make at least 75% of his shots since Ivica Zubac on Jan. 17, 2019. His plus-15 plus-minus was the Lakers’ third-best, behind Davis and James who were both at plus-16.
The Lakers’ 138 points were their most since Dec. 8, 2019, when they scored 142 against Minnesota.
“We have a lot of offensive firepower and our guys had a motivated spirit after the Game 1 loss,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “We’re in attack mode, attacking the paint. We’re also thinking extra-pass basketball and we had 33 assists.”
The Lakers made 51 of 91 shots, 56%, including 19 of 39 3-point shots, 48.7%. Dallas made 41 of 83 shots, 49.4%, including 13 of 32 3-point shots, 40.6%. The Lakers made 17 of 24 free throws, 70.8%, the Mavericks 20 of 26, 76.9%.
Two other Lakers finished in double figures — point guard Dennis Schroder who had 18 on seven for 11 shooting, including one of three 3-point shots, and backup power forward Kyle Kuzma, who had 13 in 21:54 off the bench.
James had a game-high 10 assists. His 22 points on eight-for-18 shooting, including three of eight 3-point shots, moved him into second on the Christmas Day scoring list with 383 points, passing Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson who 377 in 12 games. Kobe Bryant is the leader with 395 in 16 games.
This was the 10th time James’ team won on Christmas Day, tying the record set by retired Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, whose teams were 10-3 on Christmas Day. Wade and James were teammates from 2010-14. James’ teams are 10-5 on Christmas Day. His 15 Christmas Day games are second to Bryant’s 16.
Udonis Haslem also had the opportunity Friday to be credited with a 10th Christmas Day victory, but the 40-year-old power forward did not play in the Miami Heat’s 111-98 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Christmas Day victory was the Lakers’ 24th, increasing their NBA record, two more than the New York Knicks, who were idle Friday and did not play on Christmas Day last season either.
The Lakers are 24-23 on Christmas Day, including a 4-7 record in their last 11 Christmas Day games, including a 111-106 loss to the Clippers last Christmas.
The Lakers have played on Christmas Day 47 times, second-most in NBA history behind the Knicks, who have played on Christmas Day 53 times.
The last time the Lakers didn’t play on Christmas Day was in 1998, when the owners’ lockout of the players delayed the start of the season until February.
Dallas was playing on Christmas Day for the first time since 2011 when it lost to James and the Heat, 105-94, in a rematch of the 2011 NBA Finals. The Mavericks are 2-2 on Christmas Day.
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