In their first game against Kobe Bryant since the 2012-13 season, the Dallas Mavericks brought out the video game.
And nearly broke it.
The Mavs posted season highs in points, assists and shooting percentage en route to blowing out Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers 140-106 Friday night at American Airlines Center.
It was the sixth win in a row for the Mavs, who will try to add to that total and to their 10-3 record when they play at Houston at 7 p.m. Saturday.
This game was so lopsided that the Mavs could have gone scoreless in the fourth quarter, plus had the official scorekeeper take three additional points away from them, and they still would have won the game by a point.
Dallas led by an amazing 110-83 after the third quarter, and by as many as 38 (135-97) late in the game.
“Our second half was much better than the first — that was good,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We gave up  in the first half, that’s just too many.
“I think we can do better than that, and in the second half we did. We moved it well, we got more stops and we just kept pressure on them.”
With Dirk Nowitzki scoring 13 of his 23 points in the first quarter, the Mavs opened up a 38-27 lead after the first 12 minutes. With Brandan Wright tossing in eight of his 12 points in the second quarter, the Mavs moved ahead 68-59 at the half.
And with Monta Ellis powering for 18 of his 20 points in the third period, the Mavs kicked into another explosive gear and blew the lid completely off the Lakers machine.
Not even Bryant, who was 6-of-22 from the field and scored 17 points, could help the hapless Lakers (3-10).
“I just tried to make it hard on him,” said Chandler Parsons, who scored 21 points and spent his defensive night guarding Bryant. “He’s one of the better scorers to ever play this game.
“He got his looks still and he’s going to get shots up. I just tried to use my length and keep him in front and stay down in his face.”
The Mavs shot a sizzling 62.2 percent from the field, distributed 37 assists and just had their way with the Lakers.
“I loved the way we passed it in the second half,” Carlisle said. “The first half I think we were scoring, but when the ball touches a lot of peoples’ hands it makes a big difference regardless of what level you’re at.”
The level the Mavs are playing at now has to be drawing attention across the NBA, especially because for the second game this season they had eight players score 10 or more points.
“The biggest thing for us is to go out and play our basketball, play good defense and share the ball,” said Ellis, who also contributed 10 assists. As long as we do what we need to do as a team, worry about our game plan, stop the guys we need to stop, it’s going to be tough to beat us the whole season.”
The Lakers sure found that out. Despite shooting 51.8 percent from the field and scoring 106 points, the visitors were no match for the NBA’s top scoring team.
None of the Mavs’ starters played in the fourth quarter, which should help considering they have this back-to-back game with Houston.
“We just got to get to the plane and get there and get some rest and get ready,” Carlisle said. “Houston, they’re a top team and they’re sitting there with two days’ rest, so there’s an advantage there for them, but I like how we played tonight.
“In general we’ve been playing good basketball. We just got to get ourselves ready to throw it up tomorrow night and we got to throw a helluva game at them.”
Kind of like the game they threw at the Lakers.