Half: Lakers 54, Mavs 51

There wasn’t much difference between the Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks in the first half of their showdown tonight at Staples Center. The Lakers, winners of seven in a row, led by as many as seven points. The Mavericks, winners of five in a row, led by as many as four. The Lakers’ best players were their best players. The same could be said for the Mavericks. Pau Gasol scored 13 points, Kobe Bryant had 12 and Andrew Bynum added 11 for the Lakers. Dirk Nowitzki scored 14 for Dalals, which outrebounded the Lakers, 25-18.