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Mavericks use massive third quarter to down Lakers

Dec 25, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) shoots the ball over Los Angeles Lakers forward Wenyen Gabriel (35) during the second quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Doncic scored 32 points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out nine assists, and the Dallas Mavericks outscored the visiting Los Angeles Lakers by 30 points in the third quarter to take control in a 124-115, Christmas Day win on Sunday.

The Lakers held a 54-43 lead at halftime behind LeBron James’ strong start, but gave up a season-high 51 points to the Mavericks in a pivotal third quarter. James went on to finish with 38 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Dallas’ 51-21 eruption in the stanza flipped what had been a Los Angeles advantage of as many as 14 points in the first half to a 21-point Mavericks lead in the second half.

Los Angeles pulled to within 11 points midway through the fourth quarter, but Dallas had an answer each time the Lakers threatened to move within a single-digit point margin.

The Mavericks put the game away with a 9-0 run lasting 1:21 down the stretch, capped when Doncic connected on a 3-pointer in front of the Dallas bench. Doncic exchanged high-fives with his teammates on the sideline after effectively snuffing the Lakers’ comeback hopes.

Christian Wood finished with a flourish, including a rebound to help set up Doncic’s final 3-pointer. Wood also delivered a put-back dunk down the stretch — two of his 30 points — and made one of his four steals late.

He added eight rebounds and seven assists. Spencer Dinwiddie distributed another eight assists, as 31 of Dallas’ 44 made field goals were assisted.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, finished with just 18 assists on its 39 made baskets.

Dallas connected on 44 of 84 field-goal attempts, including 18 of 44 from 3-point range. Tim Hardaway Jr. shot 6 of 14 from beyond the arc en route to 26 points.

Russell Westbrook scored 17 points off the bench for the Lakers. Austin Reaves added 16 points. No other Los Angeles scorer other than James produced more than nine points.

–Field Level Media