NBA: Mavericks go up 2-0 on Lakers
LOS ANGELES – Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points, Shawn Marion added 14 and the Dallas Mavericks stunned the erratic Los Angeles Lakers 93-81 in Game 2 on Wednesday night, taking a 2-0 second-round lead over the two-time defending champions with consecutive road wins.
Jason Kidd scored 10 points for the Mavericks, who pushed the Lakers halfway to playoff elimination with Nowitzki’s stellar shooting, another steady defensive performance, and a decisive 9-0 fourth-quarter rally.
Kobe Bryant scored 23 points for the Lakers, who hadn’t lost the first two games of a playoff series since the 2008 NBA finals – also the last series they lost. Only three NBA teams have come back to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first two at home.
Game 3 is Friday night in Dallas.
The Lakers also could be short-handed in Dallas: Ron Artest was ejected with 24.4 seconds left for apparently clotheslining Dallas guard Jose Barea, possibly leading to a suspension.
BULLS 86, HAWKS 73
CHICAGO (AP) – Newly crowned MVP Derrick Rose scored 25 points, and Joakim Noah added 19 points and 14 rebounds to help Chicago tie the Eastern Conference semifinals at a game apiece.
The top-seeded Bulls shook off a dismal performance in the opener and looked more like the team with a league-best 62 wins, building a 14-point lead and ending the game on a 9-2 run after the Hawks got within six.
Jeff Teague had another good game filling in for the injured Kirk Hinrich with 21 points, but Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford struggled after coming up big in the opener for Atlanta. Johnson’s output dipped from 34 points to 16, while Crawford had 11 after scoring 22 in Game 1.
Now, the series shifts to Atlanta for Games 3 and 4 on Friday and Sunday, with Chicago at least in better shape after a 103-95 loss in Game 1.