96 - 91 Final
  for this game

Gasol, Lakers edge Mavericks

Feb 23, 2012 - 6:20 AM Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Pau Gasol had 24 points and nine rebounds on Wednesday night, as the Lakers escaped with a 96-91 win over the Mavericks.

With the narrow victory, the Lakers improved to 2-0 this season against Dallas, the team which swept them out of last year's Western Conference semifinals.

The Mavericks trailed 93-86 with a minute to play and pulled within two, 93-91, behind six straight missed free throws from the Lakers, a three- pointer from Jason Terry and a Dirk Nowitzki jumper.

The sixth missed free throw came from Gasol with 19 seconds left, but Matt Barnes grabbed the offensive rebound and hit a pair from the line to make it 95-91.

Derek Fisher then made 1-of-2 foul shots between a pair of Terry missed three-pointers to seal the Lakers' fifth win in six games. They face Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City on Thursday.

Nowitzki scored 25 points to pace the Mavericks, who had won seven of eight coming in. Vince Carter added 20 points and Terry had 16. Former Laker Lamar Odom did not play due to family reasons.

"This was a nail biter tonight," said Mavericks forward Shawn Marion. "I think we had our chances to gain a lead and keep it, but we had a few mishaps there in the fourth. They still gave us a chance there, but we weren't able to pull it out."

Fisher, who made the game-winning three-pointer in the teams' previous meeting this season, played a pivotal role in a 9-0 Lakers run which turned a two- point deficit into an 89-82 fourth-quarter lead.

After two free throws apiece from Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum, Fisher knocked down a three-pointer, then made a running floater in the paint to mark the largest advantage of the second half for either team.

A baseline jumper from Terry and a 16-footer from Nowitzki made it 89-86 but Bryant answered with successful lob passes on each of the Lakers' next two touches.

The first went to Gasol, who finished with a second effort and the second saw Bynum finish with a dunk for a 93-86 lead with 1:05 to play.

"I thought our guys did a nice job of executing down the stretch," said Lakers coach Mike Brown. "I feel like offensively we're getting a little better, but right now our end of game execution isn't quite where I want."

Gasol got off to a hot start scoring 12 first-quarter points en route to a 25-21 advantage.

The margin increased to 14 midway through the second, as Gasol's dunk made it 42-28. The Mavericks, though, closed the quarter on a 20-6 run to tie it 48.

Nowitzki scored Dallas' final six points before the break, making a pair of foul shots, a shot step-back jumper and a game-tying 22-footer with seven seconds to play.

Neither team led by more than four points in the third and it was knotted at 72 entering the fourth.

Game Notes

Bynum finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds while Bryant and Fisher both had 15...The teams previously met on January 16. Fisher knocked down a three- pointer with 3.1 seconds remaining, lifting the Lakers to a 73-70 victory over the Mavericks in that one...Los Angeles is now 6-11 on the road this season while Dallas fell to 14-3 as the host.