The defense sneaked up on Luka Doncic who dribbled near the sideline.
Doncic jumped and zipped a two-handed pass to Christian Wood using 20/20 court vision that few people have.
But unlike the other Mavericks throughout the quarter, Wood’s arch-high shot rattled off the rim.
In 13 attempts, it was the fourth time the team had missed three in a quarter, and it was a big one.
Had Wood dug it up, it would have officially been the worst defensive quarter in the Lakers’ 75-year history.
Dallas outscored the Lakers 51-21 in the third quarter, turning a game that the Lakers controlled in the first half and ultimately beating them 124-115.
Dallas led by as many as 21 and controlled the game through the fourth.
It was the Lakers’ fourth straight loss, seven games below the .500 batting average (13-20).
In his 17th appearance in the Christmas game, LeBron James overtook Kobe Bryant with 38 points to lead the Lakers, but Dallas had three starters with 25 or more points. .
It’s the seventh straight game James has scored 30 or more points.
Doncic, who was aggressively double-teamed by the Lakers, finished with 32 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 of 26 points in the 3rd quarter and Wood recorded his 30 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists.
The loss in Dallas kicks off the team’s five-game trip into 2023.
This story was originally published in the Los Angeles Times.