DALLAS -- Kobe Bryant had 38 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists and the Los Angeles Lakers scored a huge 103-99 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday afternoon at American Airlines Center.
The Lakers improved to 28-29 on the season while the Mavs dropped to 25-30 in the race for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.
Besides Bryant, the Lakers got 20 points from Steve Nash, Antawn Jamison scored 13, Jodie Meeks had 11, and Dwight Howard finished with nine points and 13 rebounds.
Nash hit a crucial three-pointer that gave the Lakers a 99-95 lead with 1:44 remaining in the game.
Dirk Nowitkzi led the Mavs with a season-high 30 points to go with 13 rebounds, Vince Carter collected 15 points, and Elton Brand had 14 points and eight boards.
Bryant put on another shooting display, especially early in the fourth period when he scored seven straight points with Mavs rookie Jae Crowder closely guarding him. But the next time Bryant got the ball, the Mavs wised up, sent Nowitzki to double-team him, leading to a turnover by Bryant.
Bryant later hit a long jumper over a flying Carter with 42.6 seconds left to push the Lakers ahead, 101-97.
The Lakers shot 47.2 percent form the field, while the Mavs made 44.8 percent of their shots. Dallas turned the ball over 12 times, while the Lakers committed 16 turnovers.
The Mavs' starting backcourt of OJ Mayo and Darren Collison combined for just 15 points on only 5-of-20 shooting.
-- Dwain Price
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