Mavericks-Lakers Preview

Byron Scott is at a loss for words over the Los Angeles Lakers’ dismal start. Rick Carlisle’s Dallas Mavericks lineup could be bolstered by the return of several key players.

The Lakers will keep searching for a solution as they host the Mavericks on Sunday night.

Scott was lost following Los Angeles’ 132-114 defeat at Sacramento on Friday. The Lakers trailed 74-50 at halftime and 31 in the third quarter en route to their second loss to open the season.

The Kings’ point total was the highest Los Angeles has surrendered since a 140-106 loss at Dallas on Nov. 21.

”I wish I did have an answer for what happened," Scott said. "If I did I would solve it.”

Los Angeles also struggled badly at the defensive end in a 112-111 home defeat to Minnesota on Wednesday. The Lakers have given up their most points in the first two games since allowing a franchise-record 266 to start 1982-83.

The last NBA team to allow 244 points through the first two games was Houston, when it matched that total in 2010-11.

"It (stunk)," Scott said of the defensive effort Friday. "Simple as that. Transition defense was terrible. Guys didn’t get back; lack of communication … It was a lack of effort, also."

The Lakers have allowed 122 points in the paint after an astounding 80-38 disadvantage against the Kings.

Some of Los Angeles’ problems offensively have come from beyond the arc, as it’s 20 of 69 on 3-pointers. Kobe Bryant is 4 of 21 while Lou Williams (2 for 10), D’Angelo Russell (2 for 8) and Ryan Kelly (1 for 5) have also struggled. Nick Young has made half of his 14.

Problems for Dallas (1-1) aren’t as pressing on the court as they are on the injury report. The Mavericks won 111-95 at Phoenix on Wednesday and fell 104-88 on the road to the Clippers on Thursday.

Deron Williams and Wesley Matthews played in the opener but joined Chandler Parsons and JaVale McGee on the sideline Friday.

Matthews was rested for the second of back-to-back games as Dallas eases him back following offseason surgery to repair a torn Achilles. Williams sprained his left knee against the Suns but could play Sunday, while Parsons hopes to make his season debut after offseason knee surgery.

A left tibia fracture has limited McGee to 28 games the last two seasons, and his status is uncertain.

After eight Mavericks scored in double figures against the Suns, John Jenkins led the team with 17 points and Dirk Nowitzki had 16 while shooting 6 of 15. Dallas made 36.1 percent from the field.

”The (lack of) manpower made it tougher,” Carlisle said. ”We really would have had to play a perfect game. I thought we did a lot of things well, but in the end, from a shooting standpoint, we couldn’t hit a bull in the (rear) with a bass fiddle.”

The Mavericks have won seven in a row against the Lakers, three of which were at Staples Center.