NBA Game Summary - Dallas at LA Lakers
(Tuesday, December 20th)
Final Score: LA Lakers 112, Dallas 90
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant poured in a career-high 62 points in only three quarters of action, as the Los Angeles Lakers crushed the Dallas Mavericks, 112-90, at the Staples Center.
Bryant shot 18-of-31 from the field and hit 22-of-25 free throws while adding eight rebounds for the Lakers, who have won four of their last five games. Bryant, who did not have an assist, was the only Laker with double-digit points, but Chris Mihm had nine points and eight rebounds in the win.
"I was so frustrated with our last loss I said I'll fix it," said Bryant. "Tonight I just wanted to attack and send a message. The reason I scored 62 points was because I wanted to win so bad. I just felt that I could continually attack these guys. It's a great feeling that I could do it here in front of our fans and give them an early Christmas present."
The 62 points are the most by a Laker since Shaquille O'Neal netted 61 against the Los Angeles Clippers on March 6, 2000. Bryant's previous career- high was 56 points against Memphis on January 14, 2002.
Dirk Nowitzki had 18 points and 11 rebounds while Devin Harris also chipped in 18 points and added five rebounds for the Mavericks, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.
Bryant started out the game with the first basket for the Lakers, who took a 25-18 lead after the first 12 minutes. Bryant had 15 points in the quarter as the home team had separate runs of five and six points.
Dallas kept up with Los Angeles and made it a two-point game after Josh Howard hit a basket to make the score 34-32 with 8:32 until halftime. However, Bryant scored 17 points in the second and the Lakers slowly pulled away and had a 53-44 lead at halftime.
Bryant had 32 points at the half, while Nowitzki had 15 points to lead the Mavericks.
"This was a disgusting game for us tonight," said Mavericks coach Avery Johnson. "We deserved to lose. Kobe was spectacular and we had no answer for him. You have to take your hat off to him."
In the third quarter, it was all Bryant again. He shot 7-of-13 from the floor with two three-pointers and was 14-of-16 from the charity stripe for 30 points. Bryant scored 18 points during a game-clinching 23-4 run to close out the third, as the Lakers entered the final period with a commanding 95-61 lead.
Bryant's 30 third-quarter points marked the most any Laker has scored in a period in team history.
Los Angeles played mostly reserves during the lopsided fourth quarter.
Elgin Baylor has the Lakers team record by scoring 71 points on November 15, 1960 against the New York Knicks...Bryant fell one short of the Lakers record for free throws in a game. He had 23 on January 30, 2001 against Cleveland...The Lakers shot 50 percent in the game and the Mavericks only managed to hit 37 percent of their shots.
12/21 01:57:43 ET