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Mavs sweep; Lakers go down without a fight
Question of the Day
DALLAS | So long, Phil.
So long, chances for another Los Angeles Lakers three-peat.
Hello, Western Conference finals for Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks.
Jason Terry tied an NBA postseason record with nine 3-pointers and the Mavericks matched a league playoff mark with 20 3s on their way to a 122-86 victory over the Lakers on Sunday and a sweep of their second-round series against the most successful coach in NBA history and the two-time defending champions.
Terry made five 3s in the second quarter, personally outscoring the Lakers 20-16 in the period and helping Dallas lead by 24 at halftime. When Terry made 3s on consecutive possessions early in the third quarter, he drained whatever comeback hopes Los Angeles had left.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Lakers were so devastated that Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum resorted to throwing cheap shots. They were ejected 45 seconds apart, with Phil Jackson sitting on the bench looking as if he’d already checked out. Kobe Bryant soon joined him on the sideline, with deep reserves playing out the final minutes of what turned out to be the second-widest margin of defeat in Lakers playoff history and in Jackson’s storied playoff career.
Jackson left the court with a tight smile, accepting hugs and handshakes from Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, Jason Kidd and Mark Cuban. It was the first time he’d been swept in his 21 postseasons on the sideline. It hadn’t happened to Bryant and the Lakers since 1999, the year before the Zen Master arrived in Los Angeles.
This is the fourth time any NBA champion defending multiple titles has been swept, according to STATS LLC. The last was the 1996 Houston Rockets.
For Nowitzki and the Mavs, clearing this hurdle sets them up for a chance to redeem themselves for flopping during the 2006 NBA Finals and for flaming out in every postseason since.
By David Keene
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