Mavs hope for home cooking against Lakers

10:17 AM, Jan 7, 2014   |    comments
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( - The Dallas Mavericks hope to halt their recent home struggles when they entertain the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday in the finale of a three-game residency from American Airlines Center.

The Mavericks are winless in the last four games at home, but still have a solid 11-6 record in Big D. They fell to 0-2 on the residency with losses to the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks, who recorded a 92-80 triumph on Sunday. Dirk Nowitzki tallied 18 points and nine boards in a losing cause.

Monta Ellis and Vince Carter scored 13 points apiece, Jose Calderon added 12 points and DeJuan Blair ended with 11 for the Mavericks, who shot just 41 percent for the game and allowed 22 points on 11 turnovers. The Mavs trailed by a 52-35 margin at halftime and pulled within 82-76. But the Knicks pulled away to send the Mavs to another loss since a three-game win streak.

"It was a very poor showing in the first half and I am taking the blame for all of it," Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle said.

Dallas is now 13-3 when holding its opponents under 100 points and will next play two in a row on the road against San Antonio and New Orleans.

The Lakers will play their next three games on the road and have lost seven of the past eight contests, including Sunday's 137-115 beating at the hands of the Denver Nuggets in the finale of a four-game homestand (1-3).

The Nuggets set or tied season-highs in points (137), assists (32), rebounds (58) and steals (12), and scored 30-plus points in each of the last three quarters. Denver outscored the Lakers, 77-54, over the last two periods.

L.A. was led by Pau Gasol's near triple-double of 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, while Jodie Meeks and Nick Young scored 23 and 21 points, respectively, for the Lakers, who made 47.2 percent from the floor and finished just 3-of-21 on 3-point attempts.

Denver scored 31 points off 15 Los Angeles turnovers.

"They capitalized on our mistakes," Gasol said.

Gasol has posted a double-double four times in the last six games for a Lakers squad that is 28th in opponents' scoring (104.2 ppg). Dallas is not much better at 101.5 ppg allowed this season.

The injury-riddled Lakers have lost three in a row on the road and are scheduled to visit Houston and the rival Clippers on this trip. They are 6-10 away from home.

Los Angeles dropped a 123-104 decision to the Mavericks on Nov. 5 at Dallas, which was led by Ellis' 30 points on 11-of-14 shooting. Young led the Lakers in that one with 21 points. L.A. is still 11-4 in the previous 15 matchups with the Mavericks and 5-1 in the last six in the Lone Star State.

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