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Lakers Vs. Mavericks: Dallas Takes 3-0 Series Lead

Did anybody see this coming? The Dallas Mavericks defeated the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers 98-92 on Friday night, taking a commanding 3-0 series lead.

Once again, the Mavericks were aided by a fourth quarter comeback. Dallas outscored Los Angeles 32-20 in the fourth and decisive quarter, led by Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki was 12 of 19 from the field tonight, including four for five from three point range, and was four for four in free throws en route to scoring 32 points. Nowitzki added nine rebounds - all defensive boards as well, finishing up just shy of a double-double. 

Jason Terry contributed for the Mavericks off the bench, scoring 23 points and shooting 70% (seven for ten) from the field. 

Dallas held Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant to 17 points in Game 3, as he shot just 50% (eight of 16) from the field. Andrew Bynum led the Lakers in scoring as he scored 21 points and also hauled in 10 rebounds.

It is worth noting that no team in NBA history has come back after losing the first three games of a series, meaning the Los Angeles Lakers are all but dead. Still, the Mavericks do need to win one more game out of the next four in order to move onto the Western Conference finals. 

Game 4 will be held Sunday at 2:30 p.m. CDT as the Mavericks look to sweep the Lakers an advance to the Western Conference finals.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.