Pivot Points: Lakers’ 35 Point Win Over Dallas Is Reminder Of Potential

Lately, the Los Angeles Lakers have been victim to bouts uninspired play.

That has left room for critics to question the merits of their viability as contenders and  defenders of their Western Conference crown.

The only questions left after the Lakers trounced the hapless Dallas Mavericks was why can't the Lakers consistently turn in these types of performances?

On a night that saw Kobe Bryant take a break and Pau Gasol succumb to a hamstring injury, the Lakers turned in what may be their best overall team performance of the season so far.

Reserve Jordan Farmar led the scoring with 24 points, and Shannon Brown and Sasha Vujacic chipped in 11 points apiece. Yes, I said Sasha Vujacic actually came off the bench and contributed with a double-digit performance.

The good vibes were felt all around as Andrew Bynum scored 19 points on 8-for-8 shooting, and Lamar Odom contributed 15 points and 15 rebounds in a performance that overshawdowed the loss of Gasol.

The last thing the Lakers need is to face another stint without Gasol; however, the injury is considered to be a strain of the left hamstring which is not the same one injured previously.

He goes for an ultrasound today. Forward Ron Artest was cleared for full practice, which bodes well for his return to game action when the Lakers face Houston on Tuesday.

This night though was for the players that participated, and they put on quite a show. The Lakers shot 63 percent from the field and an even more impressive 81 percent from long distance.

It got so bad that after three quarters, Los Angeles held a 40-point lead, and coach Phil Jackson was able to go extensively with his bench—a rare occurrence in the past three weeks.

The Lakers can't match this type of performance on a nightly basis, but it does show the type of game the Lakers can play when they maintain their focus and adhere to defensiv...

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