Sports

Lakers earn sweep payback, finish 4-0 against Mavericks this season

LOS ANGELES — Remember that broom the Dallas Mavericks used to sweep the Los Angeles Lakers out of the second round of the playoffs last year?

The Lakers used the same broom this season to sweep the regular-season series from the Mavs.

Even with All-Star guard Kobe Bryant sitting out with a sore left shin, the opportunistic Lakers utilized their length and brute strength to rally from 10 points down and edge the Mavs 112-108 in overtime Sunday before a sellout crowd of 18,997 at Staples Center.

After his team had its modest three-game winning streak snapped, owner Mark Cuban was in the locker room busy e-mailing the NBA to complain about a 3-point basket Lakers forward Pau Gasol was awarded that put LA ahead 103-101 with 3:49 remaining in the overtime session. Replays show that Lakers forward Matt Barnes guided the ball through the basket, but no goaltending was called on the play.

Asked was that play reviewable, Cuban said: “Not now they can’t, but that’s what I’m asking them to do.

“In other words, you’ve got to make it reviewable — it’s not reviewable now. You’ve got to ask them to change the rule so a basket interference becomes reviewable in the last two minutes of a game and in overtime.’’

The Mavs (34-27) remain in sixth place in the Western Conference standings, but are tied with Denver (32-27) in the loss column. Houston (32-28) is eighth and ninth-place Phoenix is only 2 1/2 games behind the Mavs.

“Right now we’re just trying to close the season out,” said Shawn Marion, who had 10 points and 11 rebounds. “We’re not going to worry about the postseason until it gets here.”

After Gasol’s 3-pointer was allowed, Dirk Nowitzki made a 3-pointer to push the Mavs up 104-103. But Gasol sank another 3-pointer to give LA a 106-104 lead.

Delonte West (20 points) tied the game 106-106 with two free throws. Jumpers by Andrew Bynum and Metta World Peace, however, pushed the Lakers out front 110-106 with 1:04 left.

Two free throws by Nowitzki cut it to 110-108. With 5 seconds left, Jason Terry got too deep under the basket and missed a driving layup that could have sent the game into a second overtime.

“It was a wide-open lane,” said Terry, was who 8 of 15 from the field and scored 21 points. “I solely take the blame for it.

“I command and ask for the ball in that situation, and to not be able to deliver for my team is sort of a disappointment.”

Nowitzki also was disappointed in his performance. The 13-year veteran scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, but was only 9 of 28 from the field.

That includes a missed jumper near the 3-point line at the buzzer after the Mavs brought the ball inbounds with 1.5 seconds left in regulation play.

“I had some good looks,” Nowitzki said. “It’s frustrating. I had a good look to win it, actually. I’ve just got to make it, and then the game doesn’t go to overtime.”

The Mavericks also squandered an early lead. Behind 10 points by West, Dallas built a 25-15 lead late in the first quarter.

But the Mavs never could stretch their itslead as Nowitzki missed his first seven shots and didn’t score until he barreled to the basket for a left-handed layup with 2:30 remaining in the first half.

The Mavericks took the loss hard because the Lakers (39-22) were without Bryant.

Nevertheless, with Bynum powering for 23 points and 16 rebounds, Gasol collecting 20 points and 10 rebounds, Ramon Sessions scoring 22 points and World Peace adding 18, the Lakers have beaten the Mavs in 14 of their past 17 regular-season games, including six in a row.

“We got hit with a couple of haymaker shots and a goal-tending that was allowed, and that was tough,” coach Rick Carlisle said.

Gasol sealed the game on two free throws with 0.5 seconds left.

The loss also gives the Mavs a 13-17 road record and guarantees them having just their fourth losing record on the road in Cuban’s 12 full seasons as the team’s owner.

“It’s a disappointing loss because we were in control,” Marion said. “We had a chance to put them away. You get up by 10, you’re supposed to go ahead and stick it to them. But we didn’t.”

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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