LOS ANGELES — Of all the players to make mistakes at critical moments, the hope would be that Anthony Davis would be the least likely candidate.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, the 30-year-old made two errors that set the stage for one of the team’s worst collapses of the season.
Davis fouled the Dallas Mavericks’ Maxi Kleber on a 3-point attempt with 7.2 seconds left, allowing the visitors to pull within a point. Then, after being fouled, Davis missed the first of two free throws, giving the Mavericks a chance to win with 6.7 seconds remaining.
Dallas spiked that opportunity back in the Lakers’ faces: A double-teamed Kyrie Irving fired a pass to an open Kleber on the wing, and the German drilled a game-winning 3-pointer in Davis’ face as the Mavericks prevailed, 111-110, on the buzzer-beater – not the kind of madness the Lakers hoped for this March.
Coming in with a chance to pull to an even record with the Dallas team directly ahead of them in the standings, the Lakers (34-37) instead dropped to 10th place in a Western Conference standings battle where every loss down the stretch stings even more. They missed 12 of their 31 free throws and couldn’t make a field goal in the final 3:16, costing themselves…