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 Lakers Go 13-1 Beating Mavericks

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PostSubject: Lakers Go 13-1 Beating Mavericks   Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:26 pm

LOS ANGELES(AP) With every game the Los
Angeles Lakers play, one nagging question keeps cropping up: How did
they lose to the Detroit Pistons - at home?Kobe Bryant scored a
season-high 35 points, and the Lakers used a 17-0 run in the second
half Friday night to beat the Dallas Mavericks 114-107 and improve the
NBA's best record to 13-1."We're a pretty smart team,'' Bryant
said. "So if something is not going our way in the first half, we all
come in here and not just talk about playing harder, but we also talk
about the execution of it. That's the way Phil (Jackson) has raised us
to play and think.''The Lakers matched the 2001-02 championship
club for the best start after 14 games in the franchise's 61-year
history. That team won three more games before getting their second
loss. Even the 1971-72 squad that won an NBA-record 33 consecutive
games with Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor lost three of
their first nine before going on their historic winning streak.Andrew
Bynum, playing on a sore right foot, had 18 points and 10 rebounds in
the Lakers' sixth straight victory. Bryant was 14-for-26 from the field
after going 5-for-17 with 12 points in Wednesday's 120-93 win over New
Jersey.The Lakers recorded just eight fouls, the fewest by the
franchise since it moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles for the
1960-61 season. The previous low was nine, on March 28, 1973, at Golden
State. The Mavericks became the second straight Lakers opponent that
didn't attempt a free throw in the first quarter.Dirk Nowitzki
had 19 points and 12 rebounds in a matchup of the leagues' last two
MVPs, but Dallas' five-game winning streak was snapped. Center Erick
Dampier, who tied a franchise record with 12 offensive rebounds the
last time the Mavericks faced the Lakers, had no offensive boards in
the rematch and just three altogether.Jason Kidd, who had a
triple-double in the Mavericks' 106-99 loss to the Lakers on Nov. 11 in
Dallas, had 12 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds. The Mavericks
were 13-for-19 from 3-point range after missing their first 10 shots
from behind the arc in Tuesday's 109-106 win over Indiana.Josh
Howard missed his fourth straight game because of an injured left
ankle. Jerry Stackhouse, who recently asked his agent to try and work
out a trade to get him out of Dallas, did not accompany the team on
this two-game road trip so that he could get treatment for a sore right
heel."We need Josh Howard back. It's not rocket science,''
Nowitzki said. "He's developed into a great scorer for us. We need him
back healthy, slicing and scoring.''Reserve Jason Terry had 29
points for the Mavericks, whose bench outscored the Lakers' reserves
58-25. Dallas has lost 32 of its last 35 against them in Los Angeles."They
played a good ballgame, but we were better tonight,'' Jackson said. "We
had a run that broke the game open. But until that moment, we were
really on our heels most of the time.''Terry's reverse layup
gave Dallas a 78-67 lead with 3:48 left in the third quarter. Pau
Gasol, who triggered the Lakers' pivotal run with a 15-foot jumper,
tied the score at 78-all with an alley-oop dunk off a pass from Lamar
Odom, and gave Los Angeles the lead for good 33 seconds later with a
layup. He finished with 14 points.From there, the Lakers' bench
took over and increased the margin to 84-78 on a driving layup by
Trevor Ariza with 10:20 to play. The Mavericks didn't get another field
goal until Terry hit a 3-pointer with 9:12 left."We had an
opportunity and let it slip away,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. "Give the
Lakers credit. They did what they had to do to take the game away. That
six or seven-minute late in the third and early in the fourth was our
undoing, and Kobe made some very difficult shots down the stretch.''Kidd
hit a pair of 3-pointers to help keep the Mavericks within striking
distance, but Ariza responded with an 18-footer and a 3-pointer 28
seconds apart to give the Lakers a 103-93 lead with 5:16 remaining.
Dallas got no closer than 108-103 on Terry's 3-pointer with 1:36 to go."When
you play a team like that and they get the momentum the way they did,
it's hard to get it back,'' Terry said. "But we hung in there.''Dallas'
reserves outscored their starters 35-22 in the half, but Carlisle was
forced to give his bench more minutes because of an early rash of
fouls. Antoine Wright played just 12 minutes in the first half, but hit
a 3-pointer and set up a 15-foot jumper by Terry in the final 1:19 of
the second quarter to help give the Mavericks a 57-51 lead at
intermission."Our bench did good things, but we expect them to
play well,'' Carlisle said. "That is their job, and we need that every
night.''Notes: Dallas is 7-8 under Carlisle, who started out
10-5 with Detroit 13-2 with Indiana. Carlisle was NBA coach of the year
after his first season with the Pistons, and led the Pacers to a
league-best 61-21 record in his first season with them. ... Kidd had
two steals, bringing his career total to 2,077 and tying Mookie
Blaylock for 10th place all-time. Kidd already is among the league's
top 10 in assists (fifth), triple-doubles (third) and 3-point baskets
(10th). ... Bryant averaged 38.0 points in his previous five home games
against Dallas, scoring 62 on Dec. 20, 2005. ... Two seasons ago, the
Mavericks enjoyed a phenomenal 38-2 stretch in which they beat the
Lakers three times and lost to them once. ... The Mavericks did not
allow more than 22 points by an opposing player in any of their
previous five games. ... Howard also missed the previous meeting with
the Lakers because of a sprained left wrist. He doesn't get another
crack at them until March 15, when the teams conclude their three-game
season series with a nationally televised matinee at Los Angeles

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