- Dave McMenamin, ESPN Staff Writer
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DALLAS -- Despite his team's 3-0 deficit in the Western Conference semifinals after the Dallas Mavericks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 98-92 on Friday, Kobe Bryant remains steadfast in his thinking: The Lakers can win this thing.
"I don't know, I might be sick in the head or crazy or thrown off or something like that because I still think we're going to win this series," Bryant said after totaling 17 points and six assists in Game 3. "I might be nuts. ... Let's win on Sunday, go back home and see if they can win in L.A."
Following L.A.'s Game 2 loss, Bryant said, "If you want to make history, you have to do historic things."
A comeback by the Lakers to win four straight to advance to the conference finals wouldn't just be historic; it would be unprecedented.
No NBA team has ever won a series after trailing 3-0; the trailing team has gone 0-98 in those situations.
It is one of the rarest feats to pull off in all of American pro sports. A comeback from a 3-0 deficit in Major League Baseball has happened just once, when the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Yankees in 2004.
"They do it in hockey all the time," Bryant said. "I know hockey guys are tough and all this other stuff, but I like to think we're pretty tough, too."
Bryant might be exaggerating: His hometown Philadelphia Flyers did beat the Boston Bruins in the 2010 Eastern Conference finals, after trailing three games to none and by a score of 3-0 in Game 7. But it has happened just three times in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Bryant approached Lakers coach Phil Jackson at the team's shootaround Friday and told the all-time winningest championship coach in NBA history that a historic comeback would be an appropriate addition to Jackson's résumé before retiring.
"Well, it's almost as difficult as can be in the situation we have right now," Jackson said prior to Game 3. "If we make it any more difficult, we just have another thing to do. Kobe said to me this morning, 'It seems like this is the kind of way your last season should be, that something like this comes up and it has to be another hurdle that you have to cross.' But it's not me crossing it, it's the team."
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this report.