The Rundown: Mavericks complete two-game Lakers sweep

Published April 25, 2021, 1:00 PMMiguel Flores

The Mavericks hold on to the West's No. 6 seed after scoring back-to-back victories against the Lakers at home.

The Scoreboard 

Knicks 120, Raptors 107
Bucks 132, 76ers 94
Pacers 115, Pistons 109
Spurs 110, Pelicans 108
Heat 106, Bulls 101
Mavericks 108, Lakers 93
Timberwolves 101, Jazz 96
Nuggets 129, Rockets 116

What Went Down

Today's games had A LOT of playoff implications.

In Dallas, the Mavericks surged in the fourth quarter to beat the Los Angeles Lakers for the second time in three days. The Mavs trailed for much of the game until Luka Doncic worked his magic on the pick-and-roll and buried the Lakers in quality shots.

The Mavericks (33-26) are now only 1.5 games behind the Lakers (35-25) for fifth in the West. Perhaps more importantly, the Mavs put some more cushion between them and the seventh place Portland Trail Blazers (37-27), who are in danger of having to go through a play-in tournament for the second straight season.

Speaking of the play-in tournament, the San Antonio Spurs got a much-needed boost from DeMar DeRozan, after putting away the New Orleans Pelicans. 

The Spurs (30-29) still sit at ninth in the West, just behind the Memphis Grizzlies (30-28) and the Blazers. Earlier this week, San Antonio became the first team in NBA history to have a starting lineup in which every member had spent time in the G League. If the Spurs do make it to the playoffs, this represents another way the franchise has innovated since their two-decade run of playoff success.

Big-Time Ballers

That thundering sound you hear is from New York Knicks fans celebrating having a good team again. Today, the Knicks extended their longest winning streak since 2013 to nine with a convincing win over the Toronto Raptors. And their two franchise cornerstones led the way.

Julius Randle had another monster double-double of 30 points and 10 rebounds, while again flexing his new-found range by going 5-for-7 from deep. RJ Barrett, on the other hand, continues to have the opposite of a sophomore slump, tallying 25 points and 12 rebounds against the Raptors.

The Knicks are sitting comfortably at fourth in the East, holding a slight edge over the Atlanta Hawks (33-27). No matter what seed they enter the playoffs in, that first playoff game at Madison Square Garden should be wild.

What He Said

The Lakers, for a team hoping for back-to-back titles, have done a lot of experimenting recently, especially with their frontcourt rotation. Having Anthony Davis back means less time for their trio of bigs in Marc Gasol, Andre Drummond, and Montrezl Harrell.

Today was one of the wonkier days in the Lakers' experiment, and Gasol didn't have a lot of answers for it when asked after the loss.

Did You See That?

First, we've got a few highlights from a blowout win for the Denver Nuggets. This Javale McGee dunk probably won’t make any of the top 10 lists to end the year, but it was still pretty enough to get some cool reactions from Denver’s broadcast panel.

Then we have this full-court pass from MVP frontrunner Nikola Jokic that would have NFL scouts raving about his arm strength and poise out of the pocket.

And lastly, we already know that he hates the Brooklyn Nets. Now we get another cute moment from Kyden Randle.