Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 1/14

Game 1: Saturday, January 14th
Game 2: Friday, January 27th
Game 3: Friday, March 3rd
Game 4: Tuesday, April 11th

Lakers 106

(30-29, 14-18 away)

Warriors 94

(25-33, 16-16 home)

Coverage: FSBAY

7:30 PM ET, March 3, 2006

ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA

1 2 3 4 T
LAL 30 29 29 18106
GS 31 18 21 2494

Top Performers

LAL: K. Bryant 42 Pts, 4 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl

GS: J. Richardson 27 Pts, 5 Reb, 6 Ast, 3 Stl

Kobe breaks 16,000, scores 42 as Lakers win

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Kobe Bryant knew he would need a clear head to overcome his clogged sinuses. So while everybody else butted heads, he calmly rose to another historic performance of the NBA's best one-man show.

Bryant became the youngest player to score 16,000 points, finishing with 42 in the Los Angeles Lakers' 106-94 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.

Chris Mihm added 16 points, but Bryant's stellar play with a sinus infection was just about the only beautiful thing in the Lakers' third straight victory over the Warriors. Bryant scored 40 points for the 16th time this season while conserving his energy and playing with thoughtful caution.

"I've played sick before," Bryant said, recalling his 2002 playoff performance against the Sacramento Kings after apparently getting food poisoning from a room-service cheeseburger. "I've played sicker than this. It's kind of old hat for me. You've just got to use your energy more wisely, play a more cerebral game. You have to pick your spots."

Bryant's spots were all over the floor against the Warriors, even though he was on medication he wouldn't name "because they'll put me in the BALCO investigation," he joked.

With a jumper late in the first quarter, the NBA's leading scorer this season got his 16,000th career point at 27 years and 192 days old -- four days earlier than Wilt Chamberlain, who reached the mark in 1964.

"He started when he was 17," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said of Bryant. "It's great, but it's not the stuff I care about. It's something he'll look back on some day and say, 'That's remarkable."

Bryant also scored nine straight points for the Lakers in the final 5 minutes, including seven after Golden State trimmed a 21-point deficit to nine on Baron Davis' 3-pointer with 3:08 to play.

Los Angeles avoided falling below .500 for the first time in two months, delighting the large contingent of Lakers fans among the Golden State franchise-record crowd of 20,375 at the sold-out Arena.

Jason Richardson scored 27 for the Warriors, who lost for the fifth time in six games since the All-Star break to match the worst stretch of their once-promising season. Golden State still is in the playoff chase, but wasted its latest chance to cut its deficit behind the eighth-place Lakers to 2½ games.

"They've got the eighth spot that we want," Richardson said. "The frustration is (Bryant) is a great player. He came in and led his team to the victory."

Davis returned to the Warriors' lineup in limited action after missing the last seven games with a sprained right ankle. He had 10 points and five rebounds after tweaking his ankle again in the first half, but played even less defense than usual in 26 minutes off the bench.

"If you don't outwork your opponent, you're not going to win," Davis said. "And tonight, we got outworked, we got bullied, we got pushed, and we didn't push back until it was too late."

The choppy, sloppy game was as ugly as the welt on Mike Dunleavy's head after a collision with Brian Cook, who appeared to head-butt the Golden State forward in the third quarter. A few seconds later, Mihm's tender right shoulder was hit hard by a Warriors defender, sending Mihm to the bench with a grimace.

The Lakers shot 42 free throws, including 18 by Bryant -- and referee Bennie Adams called five technical fouls, including three on the Warriors in 3½ minutes of the second quarter. Adams also ejected Lakers guard Smush Parker with 9:44 to play.

Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher had to be separated by teammates with 2.1 seconds to play after Odom committed a hard foul -- his sixth -- on Fisher. The pair exchanged words again after the buzzer, but after the game Odom claimed "nothing" happened.

Game notes

Just two months earlier, Bryant became the youngest player to score 15,000 career points. But Bryant, who entered the NBA straight out of high school 10 years ago, did it in 657 games -- only the 29th-fastest in league history. He scored his 16,000th point in his 684th career game, 22nd-fastest in terms of games played. ... San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom tossed up the ceremonial opening jump ball, then watched the game from a courtside seat. ... Golden State's Andris Biedrins airballed a free throw in the first quarter.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 106 94
FGM-FGA 33-67 (.493) 32-96 (.333)
3PM-3PA 7-15 (.467) 10-32 (.313)
FTM-FTA 33-42 (.786) 20-22 (.909)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-49 15-37
Assists 14 25
Turnovers 20 12
Steals 6 10
Blocks 9 3
Fast Break Points 5 17
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (3/0) 30 (3/0)
Largest Lead 21 4

Top Performers

Los Angeles
Golden State
Kobe Bryant Bryant
Points: 42
Reb: 4
Ast: 5
Stl: 3
Blk: 0
Jason Richardson Richardson
Points: 27
Reb: 5
Ast: 6
Stl: 3
Blk: 0