Lakers get a total team effort to rally past Mavericks in 2nd half

  • Lakers LeBron James, #23, drives to the basket past Mavericks Harrison Barnes, #40 during first half action at Staples Center Friday, November 30, 2018. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Lakers LeBron James, #23, is fouled Mavericks DeAndre Jordan, #6, during first half action at Staples Center Friday, November 30, 2018. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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  • Lakers LeBron James, #23, and Mavericks Luka Doncic, #77, get tangles up going after a loose ball during first half action at Staples Center Friday, November 30, 2018. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Lakers coach Luke Walton argues a call during first half action at Staples Center Friday, November 30, 2018. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Lakers LeBron James, #23, scores two points during first half action at Staples Center Friday, November 30, 2018. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Lakers JaVale McGee, #7, fouls Mavericks Dwight Powell, #7, during first half action at Staples Center Friday, November 30, 2018. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Lakers LeBron James, #23, drives down court past Mavericks Dorian Finney-Smith, #10, during first half action at Staples Center Friday, November 30, 2018. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Lakers’ Brandon Ingram drives past the Mavericks’ Dorian Finney-Smith thanks to a screen from JaVale McGee during the first half of Friday’s game at Staples Center. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 30: Dwight Powell #7 of the Dallas Mavericks attempts a shot in front of JaVale McGee #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on November 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Lakers Tyson Chandler, #5, drops in two points during first half action at Staples Center Friday, November 30, 2018. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 30: DeAndre Jordan #6 of the Dallas Mavericks attempts a shot in front of Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on November 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 30: Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half against the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on November 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 30: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks attempts a pass between Lonzo Ball #2 and Brandon Ingram #14 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on November 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 30: Dennis Smith Jr. #1 of the Dallas Mavericks dribbles past Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on November 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 30: Dennis Smith Jr. #1 of the Dallas Mavericks is fouled on his dribble by Brandon Ingram #14 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on November 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 30: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles around DeAndre Jordan #6 of the Dallas Mavericks during the first half at Staples Center on November 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Mavericks Devin Harris, #34, looks to pass the ball as Lakers Tyson Chandler, #5, defends during second half action at Staples Center Friday, November 30, 2018. The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 114-103. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 30: Dirk Nowitzki shakes hands with LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on November 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James goes up for a dunk as Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Lakers LeBron James, #23, is all smiles as the Lakers head to a win over the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center Friday, November 30, 2018. The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 114-103. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James comes down after a dunk as Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris, center, watches along with Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 30: Rick Carlisle of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after calling a timeout during the first half against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on November 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Dallas Mavericks forward Dwight Powell, left, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Dallas Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes, right, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, left, confers with center Tyson Chandler, center, as Dallas Mavericks center DeAndre Jordan leans in during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic, right, of Slovenia, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram, center, goes to the basket as Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith, right, defends along with center DeAndre Jordan during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Dallas Mavericks center DeAndre Jordan, right, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Lionel Richie watches the Lakers-Mavericks game at Staples Center Friday, November 30, 2018. The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 114-103. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Mavericks Dennis Smith Jr., #1, goes up for two points as Lakers LeBron James, #23, defends during second half action at Staples Center Friday, November 30, 2018. The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 114-103. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Lakers LeBron James, #23, defends Mavericks Harrison Barnes, #40, during second half action at Staples Center Friday, November 30, 2018. The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 114-103. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Mavericks DeAndre Jordan, #6, argues a call with the official during second half action at Staples Center Friday, November 30, 2018. The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 114-103. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Lakers LeBron James, #23, keeps the ball from Mavericks Devin Harris, #34, during second half action at Staples Center Friday, November 30, 2018. The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 114-103. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Lakers head coach Luke Walton talks to Brandon Ingram, #14, during second half action at Staples Center Friday, November 30, 2018. The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 114-103. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Mavericks Wesley Matthews, #23, fouls Lakers LeBron James, #23, during second half action at Staples Center Friday, November 30, 2018. The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 114-103. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Lakers Josh Hart, #3, fouls Mavericks Devin Harris, #34, during second half action at Staples Center Friday, November 30, 2018. The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 114-103. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Mavericks Dorian Finney-Smith, #10, drives to the basket as Lakers Kyle Kuzma, #0, defends during second half action at Staples Center Friday, November 30, 2018. The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 114-103. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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LOS ANGELES — A popular subgenre of the LeBron James saga is the never-ending debate over how much help the King has – or doesn’t have.

It was telling, then, that as James prepared to sub in midway through the fourth quarter of a single-digit game, Coach Luke Walton waved him off. Just for a minute.

There was no doubt the Lakers (13-9) needed James to help finish off a 114-103 victory over the Dallas Mavericks (10-10) on Friday night. But they didn’t need him right at that moment – in crunchtime, when he’s been absolutely essential for the team’s success so far this season.

With James on the bench, Brandon Ingram made a pull-up and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored three points on a game-clinching run, a victory in which James (28 points, five rebounds, four assists) again had the starring role, but also one in which many teammates played a part.

It wouldn’t have been the same without the hustle of Lonzo Ball, whose game-high five steals helped the Lakers course-correct after a slow start. They might not have gained momentum in the same way without Kyle Kuzma, who scored 13 of his 15 points in a red-hot third-quarter spree and added 12 rebounds and six assists. Tyson Chandler clocked his first double-double as a Laker (13 points, 12 rebounds), making all six of his shots as he logged long fourth-quarter minutes after JaVale McGee fouled out with 11:28 remaining.

Of course, James did check back in, with five minutes left, and delivered the final body blows: a layup and a 3-pointer in the final four minutes assured victory.

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The winning formula was no secret: The Lakers attacked the rim with fury, logging 61 points in the paint and 31 fast-break points. It was a return to the fast tempo Walton has sought since Rajon Rondo was injured eight games ago.

It was James who helped pull the Lakers out of a stilted start. Down by 15 early in the second quarter, James (who started 1 for 6), checked in and proceeded to reel off five dunks or layups in the next six minutes. Ingram was also a steady hand in the first half, scoring 13 of his 19 points before the intermission.

After cutting the Dallas lead to five by halftime, the Lakers took the edge early in the third quarter, as Ball poked out a steal from Harrison Barnes’ hands and ran down to the other end for a dunk. It put the Lakers ahead 61-60, and from there, it was hard to keep them from staying ahead.

For the Lakers, it marked a second win over the Mavericks, another of last year’s draft lottery crowd that hopes to exceed expectations in the Western Conference. It also was the third time in five opportunities this season that the Lakers have swept back-to-back games.

Walton spoke earlier in the week of becoming “a dominant home team,” and by starting the four-game homestand 2-0, they’ve improved their Staples Center record to 8-4. It could be even better after Sunday when Western Conference cellar dweller Phoenix (4-18) comes to town.

More to come on this story.

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