LOS ANGELES, March 4 (Ticker) -- Kobe Bryant never had experienced a five-game losing streak. He made sure it stayed that way.

Bryant scored 40 points as the Los Angeles Lakers snapped a four-game slide with a 108-103 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

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The Lakers have not lost five straight games since dropping 10 in a row at the end of the 1993-94 campaign -- three seasons before Bryant's NBA debut.

"I don't like talking about it," Bryant said when asked about his last five-game skid. "We were 9-24 in my freshman year in high school. That was disgusting. I don't like losing two in a row or three in a row, much less five."

Bryant put an end to the current skid by making 13-of-27 shots and 14-of-16 free throws to record his seventh 40-point game of the season.

"It doesn't matter where he's at -- he's going to score," Lakers forward Lamar Odom said of Bryant. "He's what you call a dynamic player. He can take anyone to the basket. I think it was great that he had a good scoring game, but most of all, that we beat a good team."

The Lakers took control of a seesaw contest midway through the fourth quarter. After Dallas' Jerry Stackhouse made a pair of free throws to forge a 91-91 tie with 5:31 left, Odom and Jumaine Jones hit consecutive baskets to put the Lakers up by four points two minutes later.

Dirk Nowitzki made 1-of-2 free throws before Bryant converted a finger roll in the lane to push the lead to 97-92 with 2:15 to go. The Mavericks got no closer than three thereafter as Bryant added eight points down the stretch.

"We came out and executed our offense and I think we did a good job of attacking those guys," Odom said. "We played good team defense down the stretch and that is what won us the game."

"We stayed close enough to be in the game," Dallas coach Don Nelson said. "And if we made some shots at the right time we could have won the game. Whether we had the lead or not, I thought the opportunity was there."

With the win, the Lakers (29-28) pulled one-half game ahead of the Denver Nuggets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"I know a lot of people think we aren't going to make the playoffs," Bryant said. "But we are going to try and move up. That's our mentality. There's no reason we can't slide up."

Nowitzki had 23 points and 13 rebounds and Stackhouse contributed 19 points for Dallas, which has dropped two straight road games -- both in Los Angeles -- after winning six in a row away from home.

The Mavericks, who dropped a 101-92 decision here to the Clippers on Wednesday, will close their three-game road trip Sunday at Houston.

"We played two desperate teams and they were hungrier than we were," Stackhouse said. "We've just got to find a way to get our edge back. Two tough losses and we have another tough road game in Houston. I hope we can salvage something from this road trip and get a win in Houston."

Stackhouse was forced into the starting lineup in place of Michael Finley, who was unavailable due to a bruised left thigh.

Dallas guard Marquis Daniels scored 11 of his 18 points in the first half and Nowitzki made a pair of free throws with three seconds on the clock to tie the score, 52-52, at the break.

"We had guys staying with their picks a little longer and it opened up the lanes for me," Daniels said. "We needed to finish some of those shots around the basket to win this game. We missed a lot around the basket, and if we finish those, it is a different game."