Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 1/5

Game 1: Wednesday, January 5th
Game 2: Friday, March 4th
Game 3: Thursday, March 10th
Game 4: Sunday, April 17th

Mavericks 103

(38-19, 19-9 away)

Lakers 108

(29-28, 20-11 home)

Coverage: FSW

7:30 PM ET, March 4, 2005

STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

1 2 3 4 T
DAL 21 31 29 22103
LAL 25 27 28 28108

Top Performers

Dal: D. Nowitzki 23 Pts, 13 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

LAL: K. Bryant 40 Pts, 8 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

L.A. avoids dipping below .500 mark

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Kobe Bryant scored 10 of his 40 points in the final 2:15, Caron Butler had 20 points and the Los Angeles Lakers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 108-103 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.

Lamar Odom added 18 points and 11 rebounds, helping prevent the Lakers from slipping under the .500 mark for the first time since they were 3-4. They shot 51.9 percent from the field, but were 1-for-18 from behind the 3-point line.

The victory put the Lakers a half-game ahead of idle Denver and a full game ahead of Minnesota in the race for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff berth.

Dick Nowitzki had 23 points and 13 rebounds, and Jerry Stackhouse scored 19 points for the Mavericks, who have lost three of four following a six-game winning streak. They have lost 26 of their last 28 against the Lakers in Los Angeles, with the only victory coming last season.

Dallas forward Michael Finley sat out the game because of a sore left calf. The two-time All-Star, who turns 32 on Sunday, had been kicked in the leg three times in the past three weeks -- including Wednesday night's loss to the Clippers when he had just four points in 30 minutes. He missed 15 games earlier this season with a sprained right ankle.

The Mavericks used their 14th different starting lineup, with center Shawn Bradley making his first start of the season and scoring six points in 17 minutes. Erick Dampier missed his sixth straight game because of a stress fracture in his right foot, and isn't expected back for at least another two weeks.

Neither team led by more than four points in the fourth quarter until Bryant's layup gave the Lakers a 97-92 edge with 2:15 remaining. The seven-time All-Star added a 14-foot fadeaway jumper and six free throws, offsetting seven points by Nowitzki in the final 1:34.

Bryant gave Los Angeles a 59-57 lead with 10:15 left in the third, driving the left baseline and making a poster shot of Nowitzki with a slam dunk that brought the sellout crowd to its feet. But Dallas took an 81-80 lead into the fourth after an 11-point quarter by Stackhouse.

Bryant had 18 points in the first half, but the Lakers were 1-for-11 from 3-point range and had to settle for a 52-all tie at intermission. Dallas guard Marquis Daniels took 12 shots in the half -- more than any of the Mavericks' starters -- but made only four of them and finished 7-for-18 from the field.

Keith Van Horn, who fouled out Thursday night against the Clippers, missed his first eight shots against the Lakers before ending the drought with a driving layup 16 seconds into the final quarter.

Stackhouse, playing his second game after missing the previous seven games because of a groin strain, missed his first four shots and was 4-for-15. But he made all 11 free throws.

Game notes

The Lakers held a halftime ceremony to honor Bill Sharman, who last September joined Lenny Wilkens and John Wooden as the only men to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and coach. Sharman guided the Lakers to an NBA title and a league-record 33-game winning streak in 1971-72. His first induction was in 1976 for his years with the Boston Celtics as Bob Cousy's backcourt mate. ... This was Bryant's 37th career game with 40 or more points, and his seventh this season. ... Finley, who never sat out a game during his first six NBA seasons, has missed 52 games over the last four because of injuries. The Mavericks are 9-7 this season when he hasn't played. ... Bradley started five of 66 games last season. ... Lakers F Brian Grant turns 33 years old on Saturday.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 103 108
FGM-FGA 33-85 (.388) 42-81 (.519)
3PM-3PA 2-10 (.200) 1-18 (.056)
FTM-FTA 35-40 (.875) 23-35 (.657)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-38 13-47
Assists 14 26
Turnovers 9 12
Steals 7 6
Blocks 4 8
Fast Break Points 6 12
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 26 (0/0)
Largest Lead 4 8

Top Performers

Los Angeles
Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
Points: 23
Reb: 13
Ast: 3
Stl: 1
Blk: 1
Kobe Bryant Bryant
Points: 40
Reb: 8
Ast: 6
Stl: 2
Blk: 2