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Dallas Mavericks usher Lakers coach Phil Jackson into retirement via his first sweep

DALLAS — Phil Jackson took the final stroll alone. His players rushed in front of him and into an offseason of scrutiny and uncertainty. His faithful assistants — Frank Hamblen, Brian Shaw and Jim Cleamons — paced behind him. Away from the court and in the depths of the American Airlines Center, Jackson cracked a smile, the calm in the storm, during his walk toward retirement Sunday.

Once Jackson disappeared to address the Lakers, four of his grown children hugged one another amid bleary eyes outside the locker room. They wore hats with the Roman numeral XI — 11, or the number of championships Jackson won as a coach in his wide-reaching, far-touching career.

That will stand as the final total. Something loosely resembling the championship-tested Lakers took the court Sunday, absorbed a 122-86 pummeling from the Mavericks that completed a stunning 4-0 second-round sweep in the West semifinals and brought, in all likelihood, an abrupt expiration to Jackson's coaching career.

"This is, and all my hopes and aspirations are, that this is the final game that I'll coach," Jackson said. "This has been a wonderful run."

The end came swiftly and forcefully, with the first playoff sweep of a team he coached. Jackson, who mentored Michael Jordan, harnessed Kobe Bryant and perfected the triangle offense, watched the Lakers disintegrate.

"A buzz saw," Jackson called Dallas, which plays the winner of the Grizzlies-Thunder series for a spot in the NBA Finals.

"I grew up under him," said Bryant, who scored only four of his 17 points after the first quarter. He and Jackson first teamed 12 years ago, then secured five championships together.

"The way I approach things, the way I think about things, not only basketball but in life in general, a lot of it comes from him because I've been around him so much," Bryant said. "It's a little weird for me to think about what next year's going to look like."

Last summer, Jackson, 65, said he would return for one season to defend the Lakers' two consecutive titles and called this season "The Last Stand."

"I came back this year with some trepidation," said Jackson, a Hall of Famer since 2007. "Kobe's knee was an issue, and obviously our team was older. The thrill of trying to chase a threepeat is always an exciting thing. But, yes, I knew it was going to be a challenge for our team to threepeat."

Jason Terry shredded the Lakers for a playoff record-tying nine 3-pointers, scored 32 and created a partylike atmosphere.

"(Terry's) shot-making was breathtaking," said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, who also saw Peja Stojakovic go 6-for-6 on 3-pointers as Dallas made 20 of 32 3-pointers.

There were lots of smiles in the Mavs locker room but little celebrating. Their focus is the first title in franchise history.

"The job isn't finished," Terry said. " … This was great. I don't want to understate the meaning of this victory. We're back in the Western Conference finals."

The Lakers' discontent bubbled over in the fourth. Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum committed flagrant fouls within a 45-second span and were ejected. After Bynum's forearm to Barea, the Lakers called a timeout, down 100-68. Bryant wandered away from his teammates in the huddle, lost in the unraveling.

"I wasn't happy with the way our players exited the game, on Lamar and Andrew's part," Jackson said.

"I don't know where we lost it, that drive, that bond we had in the past, that cohesive drive … to overcome adversity," Odom said.

Jackson has retired twice before, but this one appears to be the official end.

Even the NBA got in a final shot, fining Jackson $35,000 for his comments Saturday about Dallas' defense on Pau Gasol.

"That's not fun, having a feeling like I've been chased down the freeway by them," Jackson said. "But as Richard Nixon said, 'You won't be able to kick this guy around anymore.' "

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Mavericks 122, Lakers 86

L.A. LAKERS (86): Artest 3-7 4-5 11, Gasol 4-10 2-2 10, Bynum 2-7 2-2 6, Fisher 1-8 3-4 5, Bryant 7-18 3-4 17, Odom 4-5 2-5 10, Brown 5-10 2-3 15, Blake 1-4 0-0 3, Barnes 4-7 1-1 9, Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Johnson 0-3 0-0 0, Walton 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 31-82 19-26 86.

DALLAS (122): Marion 3-7 2-2 8, Nowitzki 7-11 2-2 17, Chandler 2-4 1-1 5, Kidd 1-6 0-0 3, Stevenson 1-6 0-0 3, Stojakovic 7-7 1-2 21, Terry 11-14 1-2 32, Barea 9-14 3-3 22, Haywood 1-1 2-3 4, Brewer 1-2 0-0 2, Mahinmi 0-0 2-4 2, Cardinal 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 44-73 14-19 122.

L.A. Lakers 23 16 23 24— 86

Dallas 27 36 23 36— 122

3-Point GoalsLakers 5-24 (Brown 3-5, Artest 1-3, Blake 1-4, Johnson 0-1, Barnes 0-2, Fisher 0-2, Walton 0-2, Bryant 0-5), Dallas 20-32 (Terry 9-10, Stojakovic 6-6, Nowitzki 1-1, Cardinal 1-1, Barea 1-4, Stevenson 1-5, Kidd 1-5). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsL.A. Lakers 44 (Gasol 8), Dallas 48 (Chandler 9). AssistsL.A. Lakers 16 (Gasol 6), Dallas 32 (Barea 8). Total FoulsL.A. Lakers 21, Dallas 23. Flagrant Fouls—Bynum, Odom. Ejected—Bynum, Odom. A21,087.

Mavs 122

Lakers 86


Dallas Mavericks usher Lakers coach Phil Jackson into retirement via his first sweep 05/08/11 [Last modified: Sunday, May 8, 2011 11:05pm]
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