GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Dallas Mavericks 26 25 19 12 82
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 28 26 28 28 110


Bryant scores 28 to lead Lakers over Mavs 110-82

LOS ANGELES (AP) Kobe Bryant scored 28 points, Andrew Bynum had 18 points and 13 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 110-82 in a testy affair in which five players were ejected Thursday night.

In what was a possible preview of a second-round playoff matchup, this one had a postseason flair to it.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Lakers' Matt Barnes and Steve Blake and the Mavericks' Jason Terry and Brendan Haywood were thrown out following a shoving match under the basket. Los Angeles' Shannon Brown was later ejected in a separate incident.

The late skirmish didn't take away from the Lakers' eighth straight win and 16th in 17 games since the All-Star break, helping them pull within 2 1/2 games of slumping San Antonio for the NBA's top overall record. Los Angeles (54-20) also tied Chicago for the second-best mark in the league.

Dirk Nowitzki had 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Mavericks, whose five-game winning streak ended.

The Lakers' recent run started with a 96-91 road win over Dallas on March 12. They entered Thursday's matchup just a half-game ahead of the Mavericks for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.

Things turned ugly with 9:23 remaining when Terry delivered a two-handed shove to the back of Steve Blake as he drove to the hoop. Blake and Terry went toe-to-toe, exchanging words before Barnes intervened and pushed Terry.

Barnes was restrained by Mavericks assistant Terry Stotts in front of the Dallas bench. He attempted to walk toward the Lakers' bench and shook off Stotts' grasp, sending the coach flying into spectators sitting courtside.

Play was stopped for several moments as referees went to the replay monitors. Terry was hit with a flagrant-2 foul, sending seldom-used Lakers center Theo Ratliff to the line for a pair of free throws, which were both missed.

Pau Gasol had 20 points, and Lamar Odom finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds for the refreshed Lakers, who were playing their first game in four days since routing New Orleans 102-84 on Sunday in winning their 10th in a row at home.

Odom came alive late in the third quarter. The Lakers led 79-70 before Odom accounted for all the points in an 11-0 run. He hit a 3-pointer to close the third and added a pair of 3s and a layup to open the fourth for a 90-70 lead with 10:25 to go.

The Mavericks, who own the best road record in the NBA, fell to 3-1 on their current season-high, six-game road trip. They weren't able to complete the Los Angeles sweep a night after beating the Clippers in the same building.


Copyright 2011 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited




2.5 Games behind the Spurs for first in the Western Conference after L.A.'s 16th win to just one loss since the All-Star break. The Spurs have lost five games in a row. The two teams play on April 12. Meanwhile, L.A. (54-20) improved to two losses ahead of Dallas (53-22) in the loss column.

3 Three-pointers nailed by Lamar Odom in a one-minute area around the end of the third and start of the fourth quarters, turning a nine-point lead into an 18-point blow out. Odom was terrific all night, going for 16 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. His main opposition to Sixth Man of the Year honors, Jason Terry, had only five points and three assists on 2-of-9 shooting before being ejected in the fourth quarter…

5 … And Terry was just one of five players to get tossed. See the Running Diary for a description of some fourth quarter shenanigans, but it all started when Terry unnecessarily shoved Steve Blake down from behind.

11 Free throws made by Kobe Bryant en route to a game-high 28 points, plus five boards and four assists in 37 minutes.

27.5 Shooting percentage for the Mavs in the second half, L.A. stepping up its defense in a big way.




View More Photos


Points Bryant 28, 8-21 FG
Rebounds Bynum 13, 3 OFF 10 DEF
Assists Artest 6
Steals Bryant 2
Blocks Bynum 2


POSTGAME QUOTES


Lakers coach Phil Jackson on the tale of two halves:
"We came out and played a good, a solid second half. I thought both teams kind of battled a little bit in the first half for dominance and had momentum and it changed hand a couple times. The second half we came out and played with that intensity that we have to play with."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on the playoff like atmosphere:
"We don't want the game to end up like that but you want to see players competing and carrying about the game at a level which brings that kind of intensity. It's just a build up, a build up for what we can see down the road."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on the heightened intensity:
"Each one has got a taste of the other team in their mouth and they know kind of what to expect."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on how the team was so successful in the 2nd half:
"We kept them off balance. We kept them out of the places they wanted to shoot the ball and kept them off balance and it started off with a number of things that went the right way for us. Dirk, got an offensive foul and he was unhappy, various guys got unhappy out there because I thought our defense was stepping up and making plays."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on the toughest part about playing in Utah tomorrow:
"Travel – getting there, getting to bed and getting some rest."






Lakers' Andrew Bynum on tonight's game being like a playoff game:
"I think they were tired of getting beat. We got them at their place and we really went out there and made it tough on them."

Lakers' Andrew Bynum on what message was sent by beating the Mavericks so handily:
"We just wanted to put our stamp on the game and let everybody know that we're here to win.





Lakers' Matt Barnes on what message was sent by beating the Mavericks so handily:
"That you're going to have to come through us. We're not going to give you games. We're going down the stretching and gearing towards a championship, so nothing comes easy."






Lakers' Pau Gasol on what message was sent by beating the Mavericks so handily:
"It's a meaningful win for sure. It doesn't matter if we won by 28, 15 or five. I think it was a good message for us to send. We have eight games left, tomorrow we have Utah and we have to be ready to play."

Lakers' Pau Gasol on Lamar Odom's performance tonight:
"It was huge. Lamar hit those three [three-pointers] in a row. He's always solid and tonight he gave us a really good lift."








Lakers' Kobe Bryant on tonight's game:
"It was a good game. It was a playoff-type atmosphere and it got a little chippy. It was fun for us to play in."

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on the Lakers bench play versus the deep Mavs bench:
"Our bench responded to the challenge and did a good job on them defensively."

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on Lamar Odom's performance tonight:
"He's been playing like that all year. For him, I'm sure it was kind of a challenge to be that Sixth Man of the Year. [Jason] Terry has been a phenomenal sixth man for years but I think this is [Lamar's] time."

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on beating the No. 3 seed Mavericks by 28:
"It just shows that we're geared up. We're getting really close to being ready and we're locked in and focused. When we're like that, we're a tough team to beat."







Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle on tonight's game:
"We struggled, we had a couple guys with 9 points, it would've looked better if they had one more point, a couple more guys with double figures. But, you know, this is a good defensive team. They do a good job of getting into you and being physical. I thought the key part in the second quarter where their second group came in and got physical with us, it put us on our heels. But then I felt like we responded well and got the lead back, and we kept it manageable at half time, but you know the third quarter was tough. We needed a little more offensively and defensively, but it didn't happen."

Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle on how they got so far behind in the second half:
"I still have a strong belief in our guys, I really do. I liked the way we were playing, the problem was certain junctures in the third quarter where we needed to hit a couple shots or make a couple free throws, we didn't. Their second chance opportunities killed us, they had 27 second chance points and we had a much lower number, and that really hurt us. Then it snowballed. We had a tough night offensively and we were having a tough night on the boards."







Tyson Chandler on the game tonight:

"That's the reason they're the champions. They understand what it takes to win games like this. They understand what it takes to be on top of the mountain. They know exactly what to do, they know how to take us out of our offense…they did well tonight."

Tyson Chandler on how his team was playing so well coming into this game:
"It's a good check. We have to grow up…if we want to get to where we want to get to, we're going to have nights like this and we are going to have to step up for a challenge. Like I said, there's a reason why they're the champions."

Tyson Chandler on possibly seeing the Lakers again in the playoffs:
"We have to tighten things up. I knew that before this game. I think this game just exposed a lot of those things. The good thing is this wasn't the playoff game, this was a regular season game and I'm sure we will see them again."






Shawn Marion on going into that kind of rivalry against the Lakers:
"I think it's becoming a big rivalry, a good contest, it's fun, that's part of great basketball."

Shawn Marion on the difference in tonight's game:
"They were able to control the paint very well…they hit some tough shots. We missed a lot…and that was the difference in the game. They just got a little bit of heat there a little in the fourth [quarter], but it's part of basketball, it happens."




Dirk Nowitzki on their loss tonight:
"We couldn't really get stops in the third quarter, it was a three point game…we kind of went downhill there. They played a little more physical, they made shots, and that was the ball game right there. We couldn't respond the right way and…it was still a 12 point game coming out of the third [quarter], it was still doable. Then Lamar [Odom] and this two three's and gets it out of reach for us. It was a trippy game…but the playoffs start early. That's what the playoffs are all about, emotions are going to run high and things are going to happen…"












LAKERS VS. MAVERICKS GAME PREVIEW

By BRETT HUSTON

The Dallas Mavericks have the best road record in the NBA, so the prospect of not having home-court advantage past the first round of the playoffs shouldn't seem all that daunting.

The Los Angeles Lakers, however, have spent the last few months showing they're not particularly accommodating hosts.

The red-hot Lakers have won nine straight at Staples Center since the All-Star break, and they can make it eight consecutive wins overall Thursday night in a showdown with Dallas and potential second-round playoff clash.

Road success is nothing new for the Mavericks (53-21), who are 27-10 away from home after finishing an NBA-best 27-14 in 2009-10.

But that dominance didn't carry over into the playoffs, when second-seeded Dallas lost all three road games while being upset in the first round by San Antonio.

If it can survive the first round this spring, Los Angeles (53-20) would likely be up next. The Lakers currently have a half-game lead over the Mavericks for the Western Conference's No. 2 seed, meaning Thursday's game could go a long way in deciding which team would host a potential second-round Game 7 between two teams that haven't met in the postseason since 1988.

"It's as important as the last game we played against Dallas," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Wednesday, referring to a 96-91 road win March 12. "It was a game we keyed on our schedule and have guys thinking about it.

"It creates an opportunity to get some space between us and Dallas but it's still not the end, obviously."

The Mavericks won their first game against the Lakers 109-100 at home Jan. 19, though, leaving the season series even heading into the only regular-season meeting at Staples Center.

Dallas is 2-0 in Los Angeles this season, however. The Mavericks held on to beat the Clippers 106-100 on Wednesday, their fifth straight win while improving to 3-0 on their six-game road trip.

Talk then quickly shifted to the battle for the No. 2 seed.

"It's not the end of the world to be (No.) 3, but we're going for it," Dirk Nowitzki said.

Facing the Lakers, though, presents a far different challenge. Jackson's team is 15-1 since the All-Star break, has won nine in a row at home and is well-rested after Sunday's 102-84 rout of New Orleans.

"It's good, but don't make a big deal out of this," said Pau Gasol, who had 23 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks. "It's not a big deal if we end up 24-1. What matters is we get to the playoffs healthy and with the best record possible."

The Lakers could use another big game from Gasol, particularly considering Kobe Bryant's recent struggles against the Mavericks. The 13-time All-Star has been held to 17.0 points per game while shooting 40.8 percent versus Dallas since the start of last season - his worst average against any opponent.

The teams have split six meetings in that span, and the key to the Lakers' victories has been Andrew Bynum. They're 3-0 against the Mavericks when their 23-year-old center scores at least 19 points and 0-3 when he's held under that mark.

Dallas, meanwhile, has plenty more than Nowitzki to count on versus Los Angeles. Jason Terry has averaged 21.7 points in his last three games in the series, while Shawn Marion has averaged 23.5 - nearly twice his season average - in the past two meetings.

Los Angeles has won 20 consecutive home games when it's scored at least 97 points.



Copyright 2011 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited

Game Announcements



Lakers Kobe Bryant (sprained left ankle) will play.
Devin Ebanks (stress fracture, left tibia) is out.
Theo Ratliff (left knee surgery) is doubtful.

Caron Butler (ruptured right patellar tendon) is out.
Dominique Jones
(right foot stress fracture) is out.



01/19 - LAL @ DAL L 100-109
03/12 - LAL @ DAL W 96-91
03/31 - DAL @ LAL


As George Orwell wrote in his classic book Animal Farm, "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others." So it is with tonight's game. This is just one game out of the 82 regular season contests but on March 31 with only eight remaining after tonight this one is a little 'more equal'. A win tonight gives us a two game lead in the loss column and the tie breaker so that we would have home court if we see Dallas in the playoffs. Having just played the Mavs on March 12th we have a recent game to analyze to see what worked and what areas we need to improve. We know Dallas owns the best road record in the league and with their size, depth, and experience they are a formidable opponent.

Read Full Scouting Report @ Lakers Courtside Connection


GAME NOTES

SEASON& SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers have split the first two games of their 3-game season series with the Mavericks 1-1 after splitting last season's series 2-2 and sweeping the '08-09 season series with Dallas 3-0. The Lakers last lost a season series to Dallas in 2006-07 (1- 3), their first series loss to the Mavericks since the 1986-87 season and only the third ever (1983-84). This will be the 128th overall meeting between the two franchises. In their first meeting last season (10/30/09), the Lakers lost for just the 11th time at home against the Mavericks, ending a 6-game win streak against Dallas as well as a 4-game home win streak against the Mavs. In their most recent home meeting (1/3/10) at STAPLES Center, the Lakers established a new series record for margin of victory over Dallas, defeating the Mavericks by 35 (131-96), surpassing the old 33- point margin of victory established 12/1/93 (124-91). Overall, the Lakers are 7-3 against the Mavericks in their last 10 games. In Dallas, the Lakers have gone 4-6 in their last 10 games at American Airlines Center. The Lakers are 17-4 all-time against the Mavericks at STAPLES Center and 7-3 in their last 10 home games overall. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 27-13 against the Mavericks. In their first meeting of the 2008-09 season, Jason Kidd posted his 101st career triple-double and his fourth ever against the Lakers. In December of 2005, Kobe Bryant established a new series record with 62 points against the Mavericks in a 112-90 victory at STAPLES Center. In that contest, Bryant single-handedly outscored the Mavericks 62-61 through three quarters. In 2007-08, Bryant again went over the 50-point mark against the Mavericks, scoring 52 points in the Lakers 108-104 overtime victory March 2 at STAPLES Center. Mavericks forward Caron Butler played the 2004-05 season with the Lakers, averaging 15.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.44 steals in 35.7 minutes over 77 games. Mavericks center Tyson Chandler played locally at Dominguez High School in Compton, CA where he helped the Dons to three straight CIF Div. II state championships.

BRYANT BECOMES FRANCHISE LEADER IN GAMES PLAYED
Currently in his 15th season and already the longest tenured Laker in franchise history ahead of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor and Jerry West (14 seasons), Kobe Bryant became the franchise leader in games played with the Lakers win over New Orleans on March 27. Entering the season 72 games behind Abdul-Jabbar (1,093), Bryant's 73rd game this season gave him 1,094 for his career. Bryant now holds the franchise mark for games played in both the regular and postseason (198).

ALL-STAR PERFORMANCE AFTER THE BREAK
With their victory over New Orleans on March 27, the Lakers became just the fifth team since the league introduced the All-Star Game in 1951 to post a 15-1 record out of the break. Of the other four teams to do so, three (Detroit in 1989-90, Chicago in 1990-91 and the Lakers themselves in 1999-2000) went on to win the NBA Championship.*

ODOM 14 POINTS SHY OF 12,000 FOR HIS CAREER
Needing 14 points to reach 12,000 for his career, Lamar Odom is poised to become just the 23rd player in NBA history to reach 12,000 points, 7,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists and the 9th fastest to do so in terms of games. Only Larry Bird (680 games), Kevin Garnett (681 games), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (691 games), Wilt Chamberlain (691 games), Chris Webber (695), Elgin Baylor (716 games), Bill Russell (748 games) and Charles Barkley (762 games) will have reached those totals faster than Odom, who has currently played in 820 career games entering the Lakers' March 31st game vs. Dallas.

BACK-TO-BACK
Thursday's contest with the Mavericks is the first of a back-to-back set with Dallas and Utah. This season, the Lakers are 8-4 in the first game and 9-3 in the second of back-to-backs. On the year, the Lakers will play 15 sets of back-to-back games as opposed to the 20 they faced a season ago. The only other time the Lakers have played 15 or fewer sets of back-to-backs came in the team's first ever NBA season (1948-49) when they also played 15 sets of back-to-backs. Chicago, Milwaukee and Atlanta lead the league with 23 back-to-backs each in 2010-11 while Oklahoma City (17), Phoenix (16) and the Lakers (15) will play the fewest sets this season.

BRYANT NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR 28th TIME
After three Western Conference Player of the Week awards in each of the past three seasons, Kobe Bryant earned his FIRST WC Player of the week award this season for games played Monday, March 21 through Sunday, March 27. The award is the 28th of Bryant's career (26 Western Conference POW, 2 NBA POW), further surpassing Magic Johnson's 18 NBA POW awards as the franchise's all-time leader. Johnson, however, earned each of his Player of the Week nods before the award was separated by Conference prior to the 2001-02 season. Bryant paced the league in scoring, averaging 36.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.7 assists, leading the Lakers to a 3-0 week. Leading the Lakers in scoring in all three contests, on March 22, Bryant posted his 107th career 40-point game (season-high 42 points) to go along with 12 rebounds and nine assists in a 139-137 triple-overtime win over Phoenix. Bryant's other WC POW honors came in weeks ending: 11/4/01, 1/20/02, 11/3/02, 12/8/02, 1/12/03, 2/2/03, 2/23/03, 2/17/04, 3/22/04, 11/13/05, 12/18/05, 12/25/05, 1/22/06, 4/16/06, 3/18/07, 3/25/07, 1/13/08, 3/2/08, 4/6/08, 12/28/08, 1/11/09, 3/15/09, 11/22/09, 12/20/09, 12/27/09 and 3/27/11. His two NBA Player of the Week honors came in weeks ending 4/16/00 and 12/24/00. The NBA began the Player of the Week award in 1979-80.

WIRE-TO-WIRE
With their 112-104 victory over the Clippers on March 25, the Lakers recorded their league-leading 10TH wire-to-wire win of the season. This season, the Lakers (10) lead the NBA in wire-to-wire victories, followed by the Celtics (9), Nuggets (9), Spurs (9) and Heat (8) through games played 3/28/11. The Lakers other wire-to-wire victories this season came against the Warriors (10/31 vs. GS, 11/21 vs. GS), Grizzlies (11/2 vs. MEM), Wizards (12/7 vs. WAS), Pacers (12/15 @ IND), 76ers (12/31 vs. PHI), Cavaliers (1/11 vs. CLE), Jazz (1/25 vs. Utah) and Hawks (2/22 vs. ATL). Last year, the Lakers claimed NINE wire-to-wire victories (games in which they never trailed); seven during the regular season and two during the 2010 Playoffs (4/18 & 4/27 vs. Oklahoma City). During their previous championship run in 2008-09, the Lakers claimed 11 wire-to- wire victories; nine during the regular season and two during the 2009 Playoffs (4/29 vs. Utah & 5/17 vs. Houston). Last season, the Lakers also lost twice in wire-to-wire fashion (98-107 1/8/10 @ POR and 75-91 3/26/10 @ OKC).






Pick n Roll

Play the Lakers Pick n Roll game for your chance to win tickets to a Lakers game. Just make your picks of which Lakers will lead the team and watch the game to see how you do. Be sure to play the Lakers Pick n Roll game every game home and away as a part of our season long contest.

Login to Lakers Courtside Connection to make your picks