The Mavericks went on a three point shooting barrage on there way to a 24 point lead at half time. Before the night was over, they had amassed 20 three pointers and demolished any resemblance of hope the Lakers had of extending this series.
What can you say about the bench play in this series? The Mavericks bench had 86 points in this game. The Lakers as a team? 86 points.
The Mavericks got off to rocky start with turnovers and questionable shot selection from Deshawn Stevenson. The game was tied at 19 with 2:25 to go in the first quarter, in steps Jason Terry. Terry drilled a three on his first shot to make it 22-19 and the rout was on. The Mavericks never relinquished the lead and Terry never lost his stroke. Terry tied an NBA playoff record by making nine threes on his way to 32 points. But it didn't end there. Peja Stojakovic was perfect from the field going 7/7, scoring 21 points and splashing six threes. And just for good measure, Jose Juan Barea continued to confound the Lakers with his pick and roll play, scoring 22 points in the process.
Who would have thought that the Mavericks would polish off the Lakers with Dirk Nowitizki only scoring 17 points? Of course, the numbers don't tell the whole story here. Nowitzki's presence was able to space the floor out for the Mavericks' outside shooters and the rest was history.
With the Mavericks up 94-68 in the fourth quarter, the Lakers resorted to thuggish tactics. First it was Lamar Odom who lost his cool by giving an unnecessary cheap shot to Dirk Nowitzki as he crossed half court. He was rightfully thrown out of the game. What followed was one of the most disgraceful fouls in NBA playoff history. Andrew Bynum shoved Barea in the chest in midair as he was driving to the basket and Barea crashed to the floor. Thankfully, Barea seems okay as he could have easily been seriously injured by the reckless foul. It was a punk move and one that will have Bynum suspended for the beginning of next year. Oh, and Barea made the basket too. It was a hella and-one as Barea would say.
But the story here is about the Mavericks. After numerous playoff failures, Jason Terry has had a spectacular start to the first two rounds of these playoffs. A much maligned regular season campaign has been a thing of the past for Brendan Haywood as he's embraced his role and provided the Mavericks with big minutes in the postseason. Dirk continues to amaze. This sweep will help him gain some national recognition but we've been amazed all along. And the Mavericks defense continues to baffle opponents. The Mavericks have yet to allow a team to break the century mark this postseason
It's certainly an unexpected sweep. They will be getting some much needed rest as the first game in the Western finals begins next Sunday or Tuesday but their work is not finished.
It's all about the ring and by sweeping the Lakers, they're eight wins away from that goal.