Lakers’ third-quarter woes lead to lopsided loss in Dallas

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Lakers forward LeBron James instructs his teammates on the court while guarded by Mavericks guard Luka Doncic during the first half in Dallas on Sunday. (Emil T. Lippe/Associated Press)

The defense sneaked up on Luka Doncic who dribbled near the sideline.

Doncic jumped and zipped a two-handed pass to Christian Wood using 20/20 court vision that few people have.

But unlike the other Mavericks throughout the quarter, Wood’s arch-high shot rattled off the rim.

In 13 attempts, it was the fourth time the team had missed three in a quarter, and it was a big one.

Had Wood dug it up, it would have officially been the worst defensive quarter in the Lakers’ 75-year history.

Dallas outscored the Lakers 51-21 in the third quarter, turning a game that the Lakers controlled in the first half and ultimately beating them 124-115.

Dallas led by as many as 21 and controlled the game through the fourth.

It was the Lakers’ fourth straight loss, seven games below the .500 batting average (13-20).

In his 17th appearance in the Christmas game, LeBron James overtook Kobe Bryant with 38 points to lead the Lakers, but Dallas had three starters with 25 or more points. .

It’s the seventh straight game James has scored 30 or more points.

Doncic, who was aggressively double-teamed by the Lakers, finished with 32 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 of 26 points in the 3rd quarter and Wood recorded his 30 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists.

The loss in Dallas kicks off the team’s five-game trip into 2023.

This story was originally published in the Los Angeles Times.

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