A theme early on this season for the Los Angeles Lakers has been slow starts. Even though the Lakers sit at 9-7 and have won six of their last eight, they have made a habit of falling down early and needing to fight their way back.
That was again the case on Wednesday night against the Dallas Mavericks as the Lakers found themselves trailing by 20 early in the fourth quarter. The Lakers kept fight though and would eventually take the lead in the final minute before Kyrie Irving made a game-winning 3-pointer for Dallas.
The Lakers outscored the Mavericks 30-13 in the fourth quarter with LeBron James leading the way, which is great to see, although they would have been in much better shape had they played better in the first three quarters.
“We gave ourselves a fighting chance but it’s kind of tough when you go down that many points, especially when you’re going into the fourth against a high-powered offense,” James said postgame. “But I liked our defense in the last 12 minutes. We just got to be better for the first 36.”
While it’s great that the Lakers are able to overcome these deficits and have picked up some big wins because of it, James stated the obvious when it comes to that method of success.
“It’s not ideal, but it’s good to have it. But it’s not ideal.”
A big reason why the Lakers have been able to come back in fourth quarters has been due to the play of James, who leads the league at 9.8 points per game in the final period. He explained why he and the team have been able to have so much success in fourth quarters so far.
“Well I love the fourth quarter, obviously,” LeBron said. “I just hate going into that situation down what we were down. Just tried to see what we could do those first 4-5 minutes to see if we could make a push and we were able to do that the first 4-5 minutes and pretty much throughout the rest of the game.”
James takes blame for poor lob to Davis on deciding possession
After Irving’s 3-pointer gave the Mavericks the lead with 21 seconds to play, James tried to find Davis on an alley-oop attempt. It was a poor pass, however, and wound up being stolen by Luka Doncic to secure the victory for Dallas.
James took the blame for his pass, comparing himself to an NFL quarterback.
“Left it a little short. Left it a little short. Right read, just as a quarterback, I left it short. I didn’t lead my receiver and got picked off.”
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