The star-studded Los Angeles Lakers, which retooled their roster in a quest for the NBA title, began the season in disappointing fashion with a 99-91 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
Despite missing star forward Dirk Nowitzki and center Chris Kaman due to injury, the Mavs ended their six-game, regular-season losing streak to the Lakers dating back to March 2011.
Point guard Darren Collison, who outplayed two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash throughout Tuesday night's contest, led Dallas with 17 points, while Shawn Marion pitched in with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Kobe Bryant, who has been struggling with a foot injury and had been questionable for the season opener, scored 22 points for the Lakers. Teammate Pau Gasol, meanwhile, recorded 23 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three blocked shots.
Center Dwight Howard, one of the Lakers' two big free-agent signings, scored 19 points and snagged 10 rebounds but was an atrocious 3-of-14 from the free-throw line. Nash, the team's other big addition this season, had a night to forget with just seven points and four assists.
Howard and Nash were superstar players for the Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns, respectively, for many years before signing with the Lakers in the offseason.
The game was played before a sellout crowd of 18,977 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. EFE