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NBA Game Summary - Dallas at LA Lakers

(Friday, March 4th)

Final Score: LA Lakers 108, Dallas 103

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant scored 40 points with eight rebounds and six assists, and the Los Angeles Lakers avoided their first five- game losing streak in 11 years with a 108-103 victory over Dallas at the Staples Center.

Caron Butler added 20 points and Lamar Odom scored 18 with 11 boards for the Lakers, who haven't dropped five straight games since the end of the 1993-94 season.

"It was a nice win for us," Lakers coach Frank Hamblen said. "We needed one desperately."

Dirk Nowitzki scored 23 points to lead the Mavericks, who have dropped two straight on the road (also to the Clippers in LA) after winning six straight away from home. Jerry Stackhouse added 19 points and Marquis Daniels scored 18 in the loss.

Odom gave LA the lead for good with a long jumper that made it 93-91 with 4:06 remaining.

The Lakers took a five-point lead when Bryant split a double team in the lane and, falling to the floor, somehow flipped the ball up and in to make it 97-92 with 2:15 left.

But the Mavericks got within three on Jason Terry's jumper at the other end, and after falling behind as many as six points twice, they were within three again when Nowitzki hit a tough three-pointer to make it 104-101 with just 23 seconds to play.

Butler's foul shots at the other end put the Lakers up five, but Darrell Armstrong got a look at three free throws when he was fouled beyond the arc by a charging Jumaine Jones.

Armstrong made 2-of-3 at the line to get Dallas within 106-103 before Bryant sealed the game with a pair of free throws to make it 108-103 with just 18 seconds left.

The Lakers also snapped a three-game losing streak to the Mavericks. They outshot Dallas 52 percent to 39 percent.

"We shot 52 percent and made only 11 turnovers...a nice effort," Hamblen said.

The Mavericks were outshot 37 percent to 49 percent in the first half, but they made 20 of their 22 free throws and the game was tied 52-52 at halftime.

Dallas then outscored the Lakers 29-28 in the third quarter to lead 81-80 heading into the fourth.

Game Notes

Bryant has scored 40 or more points seven times this season...Dallas guard Michael Finley missed the game with a left calf contusion...The season series is tied 1-1 with two more meetings scheduled between the teams.

03/05 01:45:03 ET

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