The Dallas Mavericks enter Friday night's Game 3 against the Los Angeles Lakers with a 2-0 series lead, and have a chance to put the two-time defending champions in an even deeper hole at the friendly confines of AmericanAirlines Center. They're in this position thanks in no small part to Jose Juan Barea, the backup guard whose fourth-quarter play in Game 2 helped put the Lakers on ice.
Dallas held a six-point edge entering the fourth quarter Wednesday night. Less than eight minutes of game-time later, that lead ballooned to 15. Barea scored 6 points and dished 2 assists during the Mavs' game-clinching run, which he capped with this effortless layup. That performance prompted Bill Simmons to tweet that Barea, of all people, ended the Lakers' Kobe Bryant era.
The Inch-High Point Guard Guy--Dallas generously lists him at 6-foot-0--discussed the game in an interview with ESPN Radio Dallas' Galloway and Company.
"I knew when I came in we just need a little bit more and we’ll take this home," Barea said. "I was able to provide that. I was aggressive, we had shooters spread out and it was working for us."
It worked indeed. If the Mavericks keep at it, they'll soon find themselves in their first Western Conference Finals since 2006, when they eventually advanced to the NBA Finals.