On Tuesday night, the Dallas Mavericks will face the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time in the 2016-’17 season. The match up will be the first of four, but most importantly, it will be the first one that WILL NOT feature Dirk Nowitzki or Kobe Bryant.
As we all know, the ‘Kobe Bryant Farewell Tour’ ended last season with the Lakers (4-3) going 17-65 and the Black Mamba dropping the mic on his way out. This put an end to the great scoring battles we were able to witness between him and Nowitzki.
— MJ (Melissa J) Baker (@MJTripleThreat) April 14, 2016
This year has been all but great for Dirk — due to sickness and injuries — Nowitzki has only played in three of the six games and tonight will make seven because of a lingering Achilles injury. He is only averaging 27.7 minutes in the games he has played, making that a career low post rookie year (1998).
The Mavericks (1-5) will be searching for their 11th consecutive win over the Lakers on Tuesday night, with six of those wins coming by double digits. Since the Mavericks have had the upper hand over a team that hasn’t had a winning record since Dec. 2013, let’s look at the all-time head-to-head match up.
NBA Regular Season
|Total: Lakers||104||–||42||Dallas Mavericks|
|Los Angeles Lakers||104||–||42||Dallas Mavericks|
|Total: Lakers||12||–||10||Dallas Mavericks|
|Los Angeles Lakers||12||–||10||Dallas Mavericks|
Lakers vs. Mavericks All-Time Playoffs Series:
|2011||Western Conference Semis||L.A. Lakers||0||–||4||Dallas Mavericks|
|1988||Western Conference Finals||L.A. Lakers||4||–||3||Dallas Mavericks|
|1986||Western Conference Semis||L.A. Lakers||4||–||2||Dallas Mavericks|
|1984||Western Conference Semis||L.A. Lakers||4||–||1||Dallas Mavericks|
Graph via: http://www.lakersuniverse.com/
This should come as no surprise to anyone that has truly been an MFFL their entire life. The early 90s were horrendous for Dallas and it didn’t help when Kobe found his groove as a young buck with L.A., so of course, this West Coast team has dominated the Mavericks since 1980.
But… at the end of the day we can all say, “remember 2011?”
Yes! I like to call it “the sweep heard around the world!”
Sweeping Bryant and his Lakers gave Dallas the momentum to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals and the original super-team, Miami Heat in the Finals.
From Kobe scoring 62 points in three quarters against the Mavs to Dirk leading the sweep in the playoffs, both of these individuals and the two teams have always shown nothing but respect towards each other.
Dirk hits the game-winner, gets respect from Kobe https://t.co/KGgP6i4tdz
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 27, 2016
Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant played against each other 53 times over 18 seasons. The above Vine would have made it 54 but Bryant sat out due to a sore right shoulder. Nowitzki hit what proved to be the game-winning shot with 2.1 seconds left and the final moment between the two ensued.
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