Reporting from Dallas — It's not as if Ramon Sessions is staying awake all night, hammering out lengthy Word docs and putting together stat compilations to show Lakers Coach Mike Brown.
The game Wednesday was all he needed to audition for the Lakers' starting point-guard job.
He came off the bench for perhaps the last time, scoring 17 points and handing out nine assists as the Lakers pounded the Dallas Mavericks, 109-93, Wednesday at American Airlines Center.
It was Sessions' fourth game with the Lakers, but he looked plenty familiar with the offense. He made seven of eight shots and also took five rebounds in 28 minutes.
Kobe Bryant could hardly keep from smiling afterward, seeing how well Sessions ran the floor, specifically high pick-and-roll sets.
"Before I had to score and play-make for others as well," Bryant said. "I don't have to do that [now]."
Bryant broke out of a two-game slump with 30 points on 11-for-18 shooting. Pau Gasol added 27 points, making 13 of 16 shots as the Lakers somewhat salvaged a two-game trip that started embarrassingly the previous night in Houston, a 17-point lead turning into a 107-104 loss.
This time, the Lakers actually extended a lead.
They led by 13 at halftime and held on to it after failing to keep a double-digit edge in at least six games this season that turned into losses.
Truth be stated, the Lakers (29-18) caught yet another break before the game. The Mavericks were without two starters because of minor knee injuries — forward Shawn Marion and center Brendan Haywood.
This month alone, the Lakers played Miami without Chris Bosh, Minnesota without Kevin Love, Minnesota again without Ricky Rubio, Memphis without Rudy Gay, New Orleans without seemingly everybody, Utah without Al Jefferson and Houston without its starting backcourt of Kevin Martin and Kyle Lowry.
They preferred to talk about other things Wednesday.
You know, things like Sessions.
He was one assist shy of the first double-double for a Lakers point guard since Derek Fisher had 13 points and 11 assists in January 2009 against Miami.
Sessions admitted not knowing all the Lakers' plays when he was in the game late against Houston.
The Dallas game was, uh, different.
"It's definitely working out," Sessions said. "Getting better each game."
He was also one assist shy of the Lakers' season-high for a player: Gasol had 10 in a game earlier this season.
All this in less than a week since the Lakers acquired him from Cleveland.
"His savvy's really the most impressive thing," Bryant said. "A lot of players have speed but he understands how to change directions, he sees the floor extremely well. That's the thing that makes his speed extremely valuable is he can change gears."
Starting point guard Steve Blake had three points and two assists in 17 minutes.
The Lakers were infamously swept by the Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals last season but improved to 3-0 against them this season.
Bryant also straightened out his shot after making 13 of 47 attempts (27.7%) against Utah and Houston. One of his makes included a reverse layup while being fouled off an alley-oop pass from Gasol near the midpoint of the third quarter.
Dirk Nowitzki had 26 points and Jason Terry had 23 for Dallas, which fell to 27-21.