Bryant rolls ankle, but scores 16 in Lakers' winMar 13, 2011 - 7:44 AM Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant scored 16 points despite rolling his ankle in a scary moment during the third quarter, and the Los Angeles Lakers got back in the win column with a 96-91 victory over Dallas.
Andrew Bynum had 22 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Lakers, who bounced back after having an eight-game winning streak snapped in Miami on Thursday.
Bryant turned his left ankle late in the third quarter, losing the ball as he was double-teamed on the left side by Dallas' Shawn Marion and Jason Kidd.
It looked serious in replays and Bryant limped off the court, but he returned with 6:30 remaining in the fourth quarter to help LA hang on. Bryant said he thought he dislocated the ankle.
"All jokes aside, I thought I was done," he said. "I was just praying that when I stood up, that my was foot lined straight. All jokes aside, that really scared me."
Dirk Nowitzki and Marion scored 25 points apiece to lead the Mavericks, who are just 2-3 since their eight-game winning streak.
LA's lead was cut from nine points to five after Bryant returned in the fourth quarter. Pau Gasol made a free throw and Bynum hit a pair to push the lead to eight at 87-79 and Bryant kept it there with a jumper after Nowitzki had scored at the other end.
Later, with their lead down to 91-89 on Marion's fast-break dunk, the Lakers responded at the free throw line. Gasol made one, while Bryant and Bynum both knocked down two in the final 24.2 seconds.
"I wasn't really sure how it was going to respond," Bryant said of his ankle. "Jogging around [inside the building] then going back out to the floor and playing was a little different. It felt OK."
Gasol added 18 points in the win and Ron Artest scored 12.
"It was a big game," said Bryant. "One of the things I reminded the team before we went out is that this is a team that could beat us in the postseason. And for whatever reason, whenever we play Dallas, it doesn't have that same energy that we have when we play against Oklahoma City or we play San Antonio.
"It's important to understand that this team is a serious contender, and that we approach this game like that."
The Lakers will return to LA for seven straight games as the home team against the Magic, Timberwolves, Trail Blazers, Suns, Clippers, Hornets and then the Mavericks again.
Dallas fell seven games behind San Antonio for the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference -- the Lakers are 7 1/2 back -- despite losing for just the fifth time in 25 games.
The Mavs rallied despite trailing by 10 points early in the fourth quarter while Bryant's condition was still unknown. But they shot just 43 percent from the floor in the game.
"I was proud of the team on a night that a lot of the shots that we normally make weren't going down, we kept our energy, kept battling and kept fighting," said Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle. "We just didn't quite have enough tonight."
The Lakers led 22-21 after the first quarter and 50-44 at halftime. They carried a 73-65 lead into the fourth and shot nearly 45 percent from the floor...Phil Jackson earned his 600th career regular season victory in Los Angeles, becoming just the fifth coach in NBA history to win at least 600 games with one franchise. Jerry Sloan (1,127 with Utah), Red Auerbach (795 with Boston), Gregg Popovich (787 with San Antonio) and Red Holzman (613 with New York) are the others.
- LOS ANGELES: 96
Mar 13 12:26 AM
- LOS ANGELES: 73
End of 3rd
Mar 12 11:47 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 50
Mar 12 11:06 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 22
End of 1st
Mar 12 10:32 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 12 10:12 PM
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