Bryant powers surge, lifts Lakers past MavericksNov 29, 2008 - 7:26 AM By Jonathan Raber PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Trailing in the third quarter, a stingy defensive effort was all it took for the Los Angeles Lakers to get going.
Kobe Bryant scored 35 points and Andrew Bynum contributed 18 points and 10 rebounds as the Lakers posted a 114-107 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday.
Derek Fisher finished with 19 points and Trevor Ariza added 15 for the Lakers, who took advantage of a key second-half surge in which they held the Mavericks scoreless for nearly six minutes.
"(The difference) was on the defensive end," Fisher said. "It felt like we were giving up too many points in the first half. So we wanted to really calm down on the defensive end and we did a better job, not a great job, but a better job."
According to Bryant, it is a defense that has made great strides in recent months.
"This year, we are going to hold you down," he said. "There is going to be a stretch in the game, whether it's the third quarter, fourth quarter, second quarter, first quarter, where we hold you down for five or six minutes and go on this big run.
"That's where the difference lies on this team from last season."
The loss ended a season-high five-game win streak for the Mavericks (7-8).
Jason Terry scored 14 of his 29 points in the final quarter and Dirk Nowitzki had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Dallas.
"Our undoing was the second half of the third quarter when they made a run, and we didn't have any answers," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said.
Nowitzki scored 10 consecutive points midway through the third quarter to put the Mavericks ahead, 74-63.
"Up until that moment, we were really on our heels most of the time," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.
Los Angeles erased the deficit by scoring the last 13 points of the quarter, forging an 80-78 lead on Gasol's putback under the basket.
"We know we have different gears," Bryant said. "It's good that we shifted to it then."
Brandon Bass finally ended Dallas' drought with a pair of free throws at the 10:09 mark of the fourth, cutting the lead to 84-80.
"Once you play against a team like that and they get the momentum the way they did, it's hard to get it back," Terry said.
Ariza hit back-to-back baskets with 5:15 left to put the Lakers up, 103-93, after Jason Kidd had gotten the Mavericks within five with a pair of 3-pointers.
Terry later converted eight straight points to keep his team within striking distance at 110-105 with just under a minute remaining. But, Bryant closed the door with a turnaround jumper and a running layup to make it 112-105 with 34 seconds to go.
"We don't expect to win every game by 15, 20 points," Lakers forward Lamar Odom said. "That's what we expect - teams to come for us."
The Mavericks shot a blistering 58 percent from the floor (24-of-41) in the first half to open a 57-51 advantage at the break, but failed to maintain that pace after emerging from the locker rooms.
Dallas played without forward Josh Howard, the team's second-leading scorer, who sat out his fourth consecutive contest because of a sprained left ankle.
LA LAKERS 114 FINAL
Nov 29 12:55 AM
LA LAKERS 80 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 29 12:21 AM
LA LAKERS 51 HALFTIME
Nov 28 11:34 PM
LA LAKERS 30 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 28 11:03 PM
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