Instead, it was Wright who helped the Lakers gain a game in the lottery standings, with the Utah Jazz (24-52) defeating the New Orleans Pelicans (32-44). The Lakers (25-51) still visit the Jazz on April 14, with a chance to hit the NBA lottery with 25 wins apiece -- assuming both teams lose every other contest as the season winds down.
Friday might have been Steve Nash's final game of the season, and possibly career if the Lakers choose to wait and stretch his contract out this summer. The team got 18 solid minutes from their 40-year-old point guard, who scored four points and had seven assists.
The Lakers were competitive through three quarters but the Mavericks pulled ahead quickly in the fourth.
Monta Ellis had a quiet night individually, scoring only eight points on 3-of-13 shooting, but he led the Mavericks with nine assists.
Dallas shot 47.8% from the field but only 5 of 21 (23.8%) from three-point range, perhaps a bit tired after defeating the Clippers at Staples Center the night before.
As a team, the Lakers shot 42.2% from the field and 25% (7 of 28) from behind the arc. The Lakers took 24 free throws, making 18, compared to Dallas' 15. The Mavericks made all but one, though.
The Lakers visit the Clippers (54-23) on Sunday at Staples Center. The Mavericks (46-31) will travel to Sacramento to play the Kings (27-49), also on Sunday.
The Lakers have had trouble stopping Dirk Nowitzki, who has scored 25 points in 25 minutes to lead all scorers.
Dallas didn't have much luck slowing the Lakers' Jodie Meeks, who has scored 23 points in 31 minutes.
While the Lakers were able to push ahead by as many as three points, the Mavericks closed strong to finish the third quarter up by four.
The Mavericks are shooting 47.2% and have 14 miscues.
Samuel Dalembert collected a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds for Dallas.
The Lakers finished the first half against the Mavericks with their biggest lead of the game -- two points.
After Dallas' early double-digit advantage, the score was tied six times with the lead switching hands seven times.
Dallas shot 45.8% but turned the ball over 10 times. The Lakers had seven miscues.
The Mavericks opened up an early 10-point lead over the Lakers while shooting 46.2% from the field in the first quarter.
The Lakers overcome their slow start, shooting only 36.4%, to whittle the deficit to just four points after 12 minutes of play.
Jodie Meeks led all scorers with 11 points. The Lakers made 4 of 8 from three-point range while Dallas missed five of its six long-range tries.
The Lakers (25-50) host the Dallas Mavericks (45-31) on Friday night at Staples Center.
Dallas came to town Thursday, defeating the Clippers, 113-107.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks
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