words // Brandon Richard
Even the biggest skeptic of the Los Angeles Lakers couldn't have seen this one coming. Entering the 4th quarter with a lead and a chance to get back into the series, it was the defending champions who buckled down the stretch, surrendering Game 3 to the Dallas Mavericks and digging themselves into a 0-3 hole. Once again, the struggles of Lakers forward Pau Gasol were evident, and the team's inability to find an answer for Dirk Nowitzki remained a different maker. The two teams will resume their series on Sunday, where the Mavericks will attempt to sweep the champs and move on to their first Western Conference Final since 2006.
In other action, Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose returned to MVP form, dropping a career-high (playoffs and regular season) 44 points against the Atlanta Hawks to help Chicago regain homecourt advantage with a decisive 99-82 win. The rest of Chicago's starters combined for just 21 points, but were effective defending, hustling and rebounding. Game 4 of that series will also be played on Sunday.
Let's take a look at some of the footwear that hit the court Friday night, including the debut of Kobe's 'Tour Yellow' Zoom Kobe VI POP.
Derek Fisher takes the court in the adidas adiZero Crazy Light.
Kobe Bryant debuts the "Tour Yellow" Nike Zoom Kobe VI.
Another look at Kobe is the Tours; JJ Barea defends in the Converse Star Player EVO Ox.
Andrew Bynum shows off some of that Kareem teaching in the Nike Zoom Hyperfuse.
DeShawn Stevenson celebrates a three in the adidas adiPure Low.
Jason Terry works the crowd in his Reebok Zig Slash PE.
Lamar Odom drives in a PE colorway of the Nike Hyperfuse 2011; Shawn Marion defends in his Nike Air Max Fly By PE.
Another look at Odom's Hyperfuse 2011 PE.
Peja Stojakovic puts the ball on the floor in the Nike Zoom Kobe VI; Matt Barnes defends in the adidas adiZero Crazy Light.
Pau Gasol drives in the Nike Hyperdunk 2010.
Jason Kidd finds an open Dirk in the PEAK Kidd 3.
Dirk Nowitzki says "That's 3-0, folks" in his Nike Hyperdunk 2010 PE.
Joakim Noah greets former Florida teammate Al Horford in his Le Coq Sportif Pro Model.
Derrick Rose runs the show in the adidas adiZero Rose 1.5.
Josh Smith dunks in the adidas Pro Model 2010.
Al Horford dunks in the Nike Air Max Fly By.
CJ Watson drives in the Nike Zoom KD III.
Joe Johnson shoots in the Jordan Prime 5.
Josh Powell wears another iD colorway of the Nike Zoom Kobe VI.
Luol Deng shoots in his Nike Air Max Fly By PE.
D-Rose all smiles on his career night.
images via ESPN