The Los Angeles Lakers failed to grab a win over the short-handed Dallas Mavericks in their regular-season opener Tuesday night, falling 99-91 and beginning their hyped season on the wrong note.
Los Angeles struggled to run Mike Brown's Princeton-style offense, showing its rust from an 0-8 preseason run. The Lakers trailed by two at halftime, but a six-point advantage for Dallas in the third quarter made the difference.
The difference between the two squads was ultimately found on the bench. Darren Collison was able to lead the team with 17 points, but 37 bench points gave Dallas a major advantage in the end. Los Angeles, despite Kobe Bryant's 22 points and Pau Gasol's 23 points, only received 17 points from its reserves.
The loss stings for Mike Brown's team, but it's a long season.
For a complete look at the box score, check out NBA.com.
Player of the Game: Darren Collison
Collison's baseline-to-baseline speed is stunning at times, and he didn't play poorly in the half court on Tuesday either.
With 17 points, four assists and three steals, Collison was able to play facilitator for Dallas' injured unit. Without Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman, a steady hand at the point was necessary for the Mavericks to earn the victory.
Collison isn't a perfect player, but he outplayed Steve Nash on Tuesday. Scoring the ball was important, but taking the reins as a floor general was even more so.
What's Next for the Dallas Mavericks
The 1-0 Mavericks will attempt to earn their second consecutive win when they travel to face the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.
What's Next for the Los Angeles Lakers
The 0-1 Lakers will try and rebound from an opening-night loss when they travel to Portland to face the Trail Blazers Wednesday night.