L.A. Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks: Championship Flame Comes Out

Three of the renegades were ejected last night during a physical battle with the Dallas Mavericks, in which the L.A. Lakers emerged victorious, 110-82.

Shannon Brown, Matt Barnes and Steve Blake were all involved in scuffles with frustrated Maverick players last night and were all ejected. Overall, five players were ejected from the Staples Center last night.

I loved the bench last night.

Sure, they only scored 25 points last night, but the flare they showed excited me. It was pleasing to see Matt Barnes and Steve Blake get down for a loose ball, and even put a "WWF Chokehold" on Barea, as Reggie Miller stated.

After a flagrant foul by a frustrated Jason Terry—who pushed Blake down to the ground—emotions were set. Steve Blake confronted Terry and Barnes shoved Terry away. Haywood got into a shoving match with Barnes, while Blake and Terry went at it. 

Men after men tried to hold Barnes down—even Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Terry Stotts. Unfortunately for Stotts, he was pushed down by an angry Matt Barnes into the bench. All four players were handed early showers for the night. Shannon Brown took offense to a hard foul by Brian Cardinal on Pau Gasol and pushed the forward, resulting in another ejection.

"This is a family here," Barnes said. "So if someone comes and hits your brother, pushes your brother, then you definitely have their back. And that's the case here."

This is the heart that wins playoff games. The camaraderie of the Lakers has finally shown. They showed that when push comes to shove, they're willing to thrust. The physicality in Los Angeles has sure grown, with players like Barnes and Blake never afraid to get dirty and physical. The tough-minded Fisher, Bryant, Artest, Barnes and Blake are all people who have no backdown in them.

The Lakers are in good shape.

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