NBA Game Summary - LA Lakers at Dallas
(Tuesday, February 7th)
Final Score: Dallas 102, LA Lakers 87
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki poured in 26 points and pulled down 12 boards to lead the red-hot Dallas Mavericks to their 12th straight win, 102-87 over the Los Angeles Lakers at American Airlines Center.
"We had to get this game behind us for a lot of different reasons," said Dallas coach Avery Johnson. "We hadn't played particularly well this year against this team."
Josh Howard added 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Mavericks, whose victory surge is also the best in the NBA this season.
Jerry Stackhouse chipped in 14 points off the bench while Jason Terry and Devin Harris each had 10 in the win. The Mavericks are on their longest winning streak since capturing 14 straight to open the 2002-03 campaign.
Brian Cook, who shot 12-of-16 from the field, was brilliant for the Lakers with a career-high 28 points. The dynamic Kobe Bryant contributed 24 points for Los Angeles, which lost its fourth consecutive outing, but the star guard shot just 5-of-22 from the field.
"They made a concerted effort to send two guys over at me," said Bryant. "They just trapped me all over the court."
It was a sharp contrast to the last time Bryant played the Mavericks, when he had 62 in only three quarters of action during a 112-90 Lakers win on December 20 in Los Angeles.
"We just tried to make other guys beat us," said Harris. "We tried to take away a lot of his penetration and his splits on the pick and roll. I think we picked it up a lot."
Lamar Odom had 14 points, six boards and seven assists in the loss. Devean George netted 10 points and six rebounds off the bench.
Leading by eight points, 76-68, entering the final frame, the Mavericks turned the screws on the Lakers early, scoring the first seven points of the quarter.
Erick Dampier got loose inside for a lay-in, Marquis Daniels buried a jumper and Keith Van Horn finished the flurry with a triple to make things 83-68 with 9:33 on the clock.
The Lakers never seriously threatened the rest of the way. Los Angeles managed to slice the lead to 10, 88-78, after Cook buried a jumper with 5:56 left, but Dallas quickly answered.
Four straight free throws by Harris and Nowitzki extended the cushion to 92-78, and the Lakers never recovered.
The Mavericks dominated the game early, running to a 27-10 advantage after the first 12 minutes. Los Angeles managed to cut the lead to 11, 49-38, at intermission.
Dallas is 14-0 when Howard scores 20 points or more...The Mavericks, who will host Shaquille O'Neal and the Miami Heat on Thursday, are now 19-4 at home this season. They have won eight in a row at American Airlines Center...The Lakers are 12-16 as the visitor this season.
02/08 00:30:37 ET