Kobe reaches 31,000-point plateau as Lakers edge Mavericks
Dallas, TX, United States (4E Sports) – Kobe Bryant poured 14 of his 38 points in the fourth quarter to lift the Los Angeles Lakers to a 103-99 triumph over the Dallas Mavericks Sunday at American Airlines Center.
Bryant sank all of his five shots in the final period, including a 21-foot jumper that put the Lakers ahead by 101-97 with 46 seconds remaining.
Dirk Nowitzki sank a jumper to keep the Mavericks within striking distance but Metta World Peace split his charities to give the Lakers a three-point advantage.
Dallas blew its chance of tying the game when OJ Mayo missed a three-pointer with four seconds left. Vince Carter fouled Bryant, who split his free throws for the final count.
Bryant, who shot 13-for-21, added 12 rebounds and seven assists as the Lakers (28-29) extended their winning streak to three games.
“It’s just what I’m supposed to do. It’s about that time. I’m kind of going through a process of facilitating and things like that, but now it’s time to put the whole thing together,” Bryant said.
“All he needs is the ball. Just throw it over to him and that’s how he likes to operate,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said regarding Bryant.
With a 3-pointer at the 4:50 mark of the second quarter, Bryant also became the youngest member of the 31,000-point club at the age of 34 years and 185 days.
Bryant surpassed Wilt Chamberlain (36-164), Karl Malone (36-267), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (36-323) and Michael Jordan (39-296). He now has a career total of 31,027 points.
Steve Nash scored a season-high 20 points, Antawn Jamison had 13 and Jodie Meeks tallied 11 for the Lakers, who have won five straight in Dallas and eight of the last nine regular-season meetings against the Mavericks.
Nowitzki scored 30 points on 11-for-19 shooting on top of 13 rebounds for his first double-double of the season for the Mavericks (25-30), who had their three-game winning streak snapped.
However, Nowitzki was the only Dallas starter to score in double figures while Vince Carter and Elton Brand provided offensive support off the bench with 15 and 14 points, respectively.
The Mavs’ starting backcourt of Mayo and Darren Collison were held to a combined 15 points on 5-for-20 shooting.