L.A. Lakers 100, Dallas 95
DALLAS, March 10 (Ticker) -- Kobe Bryant
made sure the Los Angeles Lakers
began their most pivotal stretch of the season on a positive
Bryant absolutely dominated down the stretch, scoring 12 of his
36 points over the final 12 minutes as Los Angeles edged the
Dallas Mavericks, 100-95.
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Losers of three straight and eight of their last 10 road games,
the Lakers kicked off a six-game road trip with a stirring
triumph. Trailing by as many as 12 in the second half, Los
Angeles gutted out a win behind its superstar.
Bryant had an acrobatic basket with 2:38 to go, pushing the
Lakers' advantage to 94-90. After a 3-pointer by Jason Terry
Bryant made a layup, blocked a jumper by Dirk Nowitzki
dunked off a miss by Jumaine Jones -- all in a span of 12 seconds
-- to extend Los Angeles' cushion to 98-93.
Bryant was 14-of-22 from the field for the Lakers, who improved
to just 10-17 on the road this season. Lamar Odom
points and 14 rebounds.
"It's a big win," Bryant said. "I don't think anyone expected
us to win this game except for ourselves. We came out and
really played well. ... We have to now move on and take this
experience and carry it over to the next game."
"It is a big win for us to start this trip against a tough team
like Dallas," Lakers coach Frank Hamblen
said. "I was hoping to
hold them under 100 and our guys did. I give our guys a lot of
Nowitzki had 25 points and 11 rebounds but missed 13 of his 19
shots. Teammate Josh Howard
added 18 and 10 but was limited to
29 minutes by an ankle sprain in the second half.
added 10 points and a season-high 17 rebounds for
Dallas, which fell to 20-11 at home after going 36-5 at
American Airlines Center in 2003-04.
"It was a tough night for us and a tough finish," said Mavericks
assistant coach Avery Johnson, who was filling in for Don Nelson
. "You have to take your hat off not only to the Lakers,
but Kobe Bryant. He did it all for them. He got other guys
involved in the second half.
Dallas also shot just 37 percent (33-of-90) from the field -- the
15th time they have failed to eclipse the 40 percent mark. The
Mavericks, who had only 11 such contests last season, are 4-11
in those games in 2004-05.
Dallas also lost for just the third time in 35 games when
leading by at least 10 points and fell to 30-3 in games in which
it carries a lead into the final quarter.
The Mavericks led 60-48 just under five minutes into the second
half but the Lakers battled back and tied the game, 81-81, with
8:57 to go.
After Bryant's dunk with 57 seconds remaining gave Los Angeles a
98-93 lead, Howard had a layup 11 seconds later. Odom missed a
jumper with 25 seconds to go, but Nowitzki was off the mark
with a 3-pointer 15 seconds later in which he appeared to be
fouled by Bryant. Chucky Atkins
sank two free throws with eight
seconds remaining to seal the victory.
"We just missed some big shots down the stretch, but that's part
of basketball," Dallas forward Marquis Daniels
"It was big that we didn't hit any shots late," Howard added.