Basketbawful: “About the only positive the Mavs could take away from [the loss to the Lakers] was that they didn’t slip on a banana peel and fall face first into a cream pie.”
Kobe Bryant’s motivation for killing the Mavs? “Payback for what the Cowboys did to my Eagles.” (via AP) Makes you wonder how much the Mavs will lose by when the Cowboys beat the Eagles next week.
Also from the AP recap, a classic Phil Jackson morsel: “Yes, you can expect this every night.”
Dexter Fishmore, of the excellent Lakers’ blog, Silver Screen and Roll: “As the cliché goes, this counts for only one win, but still: what a win. The offense was far and away better than it’s been at any time this season. The Mavs were playing out the string on an eight-day road trip and were missing defensive stalwart Erick Dampier, but all the mitigating factors you can think of can’t diminish tonight’s tour de force. The Lakers made 66% of their two-point attempts, 58% of their threes and 81% of their free throws. With everyonelocked in – each Laker who played shot at least 50% from the field – the Dallas defense never had a prayer.”
Andy Kamenetzky, of the newish Land O’ Lakers Blog (part of ESPN LA), and formerly of the LA Times: “Jason Terry, Josh Howard, and Drew Gooden make the Mavs bench as potentially explosive as a David Hasselhoff at an open bar, breathing on a lit match. In the meantime, the Lakers’ bench has been largely unreliable. But, as the saying goes, that’s why games aren’t conducted on paper. Terry scored just 10 points and turned the ball over twice. Howard fared worse, his 2-11 effort cultivating just seven points. As I noted, he’s struggled on back-to-backs during this injury-plagued season, but some credit has to go the Laker D (outstanding all night). Whether by Andrew Bynum at the rim or Sasha Vujacic in space, Howard was harassed into misery. For his part, Gooden started in place of an inactive Erick Dampier, but judging by the abuse endured from Bynum on both sides of the ball, I don’t think it would have mattered when he checked in.”
Another tiny positive: Dirk Nowitzki tied Derek Harper for the second-most games played in franchise history, and will likely become the franchise leader next month.
Rick Carlisle on the disheartening loss (via Earl K. Sneed): “Just an embarrassing effort…We all own it, so I don’t know how else to put it. They played great and we played terrible. You know, it was atypical of the year we’ve had so far, but it’s very disappointing…It’s the first time all year we really didn’t put up the kind of fight we really needed to. That’s disappointing…It’s on all of us, coaches, players, everybody. It’s very disappointing.”