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Mavericks Vs. Lakers: Dallas Up 54-48 At The Half

Despite a slow start from Dirk Nowitzki, the Dallas Mavericks rode a balanced offensive attack to a 54-48 half-time lead over the LA Lakers in a game with huge playoff implications for both teams.

Delonte West, who had 16 points on 8-11 shooting, was the star of the first half, as the 6'3 combo guard continues to reward coach Rick Carlisle's decision to insert him into the starting line-up.

The Lakers, meanwhile, have struggled to score efficiently without Kobe Bryant, with Andrew Bynum shooting 4-13 from the floor and Pau Gasol going 1-4.

A big part of that has been Brendan Haywood's interior defense, as he has used his 7'0 275 frame to prevent LA's seven-footers from establishing deep post position.

However, the Lakers bigs misses have also allowed them to scoop up 8 offensive rebounds, which has kept LA in the game in the first half.

For more news and updates from the Mavericks game against the Lakers, stay tuned to SB Nation Dallas' exclusive story stream as well as Mavs Moneyball.

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