Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers NBA Playoffs Game 2 Line

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:

The Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers NBA Playoffs Game 2 line had Los Angeles as a -7 point favorite at Sportsbook.com with a total of 186.5. 

The deeper we get into the playoffs, the closer the competition level, it becomes more and more important to live up to the expression “steal one on the road.” Especially when a series involves teams like the Lakers and the Mavericks, teams that are as even as their respective 57-25 regular season records would indicate. Monday night the veteran Mavericks were successful in their thievery of Game 1 of the series. Wednesday, they try and go for a second straight win, and if they pull off a heist in Game 2, it will make the Game 1 victory look like a simple pickpocket.

Dallas overcame a 16-point, second-half deficit to shock the Lakers in Staples Center, 96-94. Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points, hauled down 14 boards, and hit the free throw that put his team up for good with 19.5 seconds left. Multiple chances to win the game were squandered by Los Angeles in the final seconds when the Lakers turned the ball over, leading to a Jason Kidd FT, and Kobe Bryant missed a three-pointer for the win as time expired. Bryant led all scorers with 36 points, and felt the need to pass along some wisdom to his teammates that would serve as a wake up call concerning the Mavs: "This team can beat us, it's clear."

"We felt like we gave the game away," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "I'm not so sure Dallas didn't outplay us, but the players felt like we gave it away. ... The game was won in the third quarter when we got the lead and stopped playing defense and stopped playing offense. It took a lot of energy out of us and gave a lot of energy to them."

It was the second straight Game 1 defeat this postseason for the defending champs, which is unusual for a team that won six straight series openers over the past two seasons. The Lakers allowed Dallas to shoot 49.4% FG in Game 1, much higher than the 46.3% they allowed to opponents during the regular season, which tied them for just 13th-best in the league.

Dallas had a more balanced attack than L.A. Monday night, with five players scoring in double figures. The Mavericks bench outscored the Lakers reserves 40-25, as Jason Terry had 15 points off the bench while Peja Stojakovic added 10. But the big attraction Monday night was the job that Nowitzki did down the stretch, scoring 11 points in the fourth quarter, as the Mavericks won their first-ever playoff game in Los Angeles. Nowitzki’s clutch performance came as no surprise to his team. "He always wants the ball down the stretch, and he always finds a way to get it done," said Dallas guard Jason Kidd, whose veteran defensive savvy also caused problems for Bryant. "He likes that stage. You don't find a lot of guys who like that stage. Kobe is one of them, but (Nowitzki) has done a lot of work to get there with him. He and Kobe are the two best players on the floor, and he found a way to get it done (Monday)."

While Nowitzki was poised at the end of the game, Bryant and the Lakers appeared confused and flustered, failing to get shots off in two of their final three possessions in the fourth quarter. Expecting the Black Mamba to melt down in crunch time for a second straight game is about as likely as expecting the world champions to lose two straight home playoff games to start a series. Then again, stranger things have happened.

Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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