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The Mavs Blew A 27-Point Lead To The Lakers In The Largest Comeback Win In The NBA This Season

The Dallas Mavericks looked like they were going to cruise to a win in the first half of ABC’s doubleheader on Sunday, as Luka Doncic and company seemingly could not miss in the early going, hitting 10 of their first 17 threes while the Lakers started 0-of-14 from beyond the arc.

The Mavs led by as many as 27 in the second quarter, and the good vibes of the new-look Lakers were suddenly getting a major test. However, they began chipping away at the deficit, cutting it to 14 at halftime and all the way down to three going into the fourth quarter, thanks to a 12-0 run in the third.

Leading the way in the comeback on both ends of the floor was Anthony Davis, who started quietly but eventually began to dominate the small Mavs frontline. Davis would finish the afternoon with 30 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, three blocks, and one steal, and served as the catalyst for the Lakers down the stretch, doing a bit of everything to push the Lakers in front.

Late in the fourth, after Dallas had regained the lead by one on Kyrie Irving free throws, it was Davis who secured a big offensive rebound in traffic and threw down a big dunk to push the Lakers back in front for good.

He followed that up with another big bucket in the final 30 seconds as the Mavs had cut the deficit to one but ended up with Doncic on a switch on Davis, who took him into the post and drilled a fadeaway to push the lead back up to three.

The 27-point comeback was the biggest in the NBA this season, as teams were 138-0 entering Sunday when holding a 27-point lead at any point in a game. The Lakers became the team to change that in a game that is critical for their push for the postseason, as they pull to within a game of New Orleans in 10th and are just 2.5 back of Dallas in sixth.

Given how passive Davis has been at times this season, battling through injuries again, seeing him take the lead in a game where he was the biggest mismatch on the floor is a big deal for the Lakers. That isn’t always the case, but on this night he made the Mavs pay for a small frontcourt and no one capable of defending him or keeping him off the boards. Three other Lakers joined Davis in double figures, as LeBron James finished with 26 points, Dennis Schröder added 16, and Jarred Vanderbilt scored 15 and pulled in 17 rebounds as he continues to prove a big addition for the Lakers on both ends of the floor.

After their scorching start, the Mavs came back to earth a bit, shooting 40.8 percent from three on the game (10-of-32 to close). Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving likewise struggled to keep it going in the second half, combining for 47 points but needing 44 combined shots to get there, while the rest of the Mavs starters scored six points each. For a team that’s admittedly skewed towards the offensive end, that’s not getting it done and their cushion for a guaranteed playoff position gets considerably narrower, as they fall to just a game-up on the three-way tie behind them for seventh.