Los Angeles Lakers vs Dallas Mavericks: MVP Chants Roar Over Scuffles

Hayden Kim@@HayDayKimCorrespondent IIIApril 1, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 31:  Ron Artest #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates his basket and a foul with Shannon Brown #12, Kobe Bryant #24 and Lamar Odom #7 during a 110-82 win over the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on March 31, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Name any game more exciting than tonight's matchup between the Lakers and Mavericks.

The two teams were competing for the No. 2 seed in the West and it couldn't have been a more lopsided game, as the Lakers went on to win it 110-82. 

What made this game exciting wasn't the score or the fact that Lamar Odom had yet another double-double receiving a standing ovation, but the playoff-like atmosphere that was present tonight. 

Both teams battled hard—maybe even a little too hard—with a scuffle occurring in the fourth quarter, initially between Steve Blake and Jason Terry after an ill-advised push by Terry, which eventually resulted in a four player ejection involving Blake, Terry, Matt Barnes and Brendan Haywood. 

The game wasn't exactly close, but the Mavericks battled hard as the Lakers just proved to be the better team.

Interestingly enough, this game seemed to represent a lot more than a double-digit win; it actually gave us a peak into what we will be seeing from the Lakers in the playoffs.

Adding onto another great performance, scoring 28 points, alongside four assists and five rebounds, Kobe Bryant proved to be in tip-top shape heading into the last stretch of the season and into the playoffs.

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Bryant really looked like an MVP candidate tonight and although he is unlikely to win this year, most fans can guess what type of performance to expect from him in the remainder of the season. 

The Lakers are now three games behind the Spurs with eight games remaining and with tonight's collective performance, hopes have to be high in L.A. 

But alongside a great win for the Lakers, there came havoc, with of course the suspensions and the very rare occasion of a fan being ejected as the swarm of red jackets took the man out within a matter of seconds. 

What does this all mean for the Lakers, though?

Most likely Blake won't be suspended, but it looks as though Barnes will be and without Barnes—who has played very well recently for a couple key games—the Lakers' opportunity to grab the top spot in the West has increased in difficulty. 

A night filled with MVP chants, kissing of the guns and recollections of an old school rumble just adds to the excitement of what the playoffs will be like. 

Odom has assured himself as the league's best sixth man (even though he may not win) and Kobe has shown the world that father time hasn't quite hit him yet. 

The 2010-2011 NBA regular season is coming to an end and what better way to head into the playoffs than to watch the craziness in the West just begin to heat up?

To end an eventful night, just follow Artest's new words: "Go Loco!"