(The Sports Xchange) – The Los Angeles Lakers have endured some low points in recent seasons, but the nadir occurred Sunday.
The Dallas Mavericks blitzed Los Angeles in the second quarter and handed the Lakers the worst loss in franchise history, 122-73.
“We have teaching points, but what I say to them behind those doors, that is between us,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “I think they understand and would agree and would feel inside the same way that I feel.”
It was the Mavericks’ largest margin of victory and 13th consecutive win against the Lakers. Dallas missed its first 50-point victory since a win over Philadelphia on Nov. 13, 2014.
The Mavericks, whose 15-29 record is better than the marks of just four NBA teams, including the Lakers (16-32), snapped to a two-game losing streak.
The Dallas lead reached as high as 34 points in the second quarter, an advantage that was insurmountable for the short-handed Lakers.
Los Angeles dropped to 3-11 this season when playing without starting point guard D’Angelo Russell, who sustained knee and calf injuries in Los Angeles’ win over the Indiana Pacers on Friday.
The Lakers were a brutal 13-of-37 from the floor — including 2-of-16 from beyond the arc — in the first half and committed nine turnovers. Dallas outrebounded Los Angeles 28-15 before the break, including 8-2 on the offensive glass.
The Lakers put up little resistance in the third quarter as Dallas grew its lead to 37 points.
The margin hit 40 points for the first time at 99-59 with just under 10 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. The biggest lead was 53 points as the Mavericks nearly doubled the Lakers’ scoring.
Only two Los Angeles players scored in double figures — Lou Williams with 15 points and Jordan Clarkson with 10.
Los Angeles shot a paltry 14.3 percent from beyond the arc, making just 3-of-21 attempts.
“They hit shots, we didn’t. They defended, we didn’t. It’s as simple as that,” said Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr., who had four points in 10 minutes of playing time.
“I don’t know why we didn’t defend. Some nights shots don’t fall, but it’s unacceptable to give up 122 on any night.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina)