Bryant silences Cuban with 38 points in Lakers' win

Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:13am IST

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant looks toward the Laker's bench after hitting a three-point shot against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Dallas, Texas February 24, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Stone

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant looks toward the Laker's bench after hitting a three-point shot against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Dallas, Texas February 24, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Stone

REUTERS - Kobe Bryant fired back at Dallas owner Mark Cuban with 38 points as he lifted the Los Angeles Lakers past the Mavericks 103-99 on Sunday.

After Cuban recently suggested the Lakers should consider waiving Bryant and his league-high salary next season, the five-time NBA champion showed his worth with an artistic display of clutch shooting and all-around effort that included 12 rebounds and seven assists.

"It was a big win for us," Bryant told reporters after finishing with 14 fourth-quarter points to seal the triumph. "(I tried to) be patient, attack but still read the defense. We made some tough shots."

Dallas (25-30) led 90-87 midway through the fourth quarter but visiting Los Angeles nosed ahead with a seven-nil run led by Bryant and Steve Nash who finished with 20 points.

The victory was the third straight for Los Angeles (28-29) who moved within 2-1/2 games of a Western Conference playoff spot that Bryant has guaranteed the team will secure.

The Mavericks, 10th in the West, are also battling for a spot and Dirk Nowitzki put up 30 points and 13 rebounds.

Cuban's comments centered around the NBA's "amnesty clause," which allows a team to release a player and avoid paying taxes on their salary.

The Mavericks owner has said that his suggestion was just hypothetical, while the Lakers released a statement saying such talk was "inappropriate."

Bryant silenced all talk in the fourth where he made three straight difficult jump shots to leave the Dallas crowd murmuring.

Bryant and Nash combined for 11 of the last 12 Lakers' points to make up for a quiet day from Dwight Howard who battled foul trouble and had nine points and 13 rebounds.

Bryant was following up a 40-point game in Friday's win against Portland.

"That's why he's Kobe Bryant," said Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni. "When he puts his mind to something, for the last 17 years he's been able to accomplish it." (Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles, Editing by Tom Pilcher/Gene Cherry)

Reuters Showcase

Putin Critic Killed

Putin Critic Killed

Russians march in memory of murdered Putin critic.  Full Article 

Pakistan's First Win

Pakistan's First Win

Irfan bounces Zimbabwe out as Pakistan claim first win.  Full Article 

Budget 2015

Budget 2015

Full coverage of 2015/16 budget.  Full Coverage 

Hacked to Death

Hacked to Death

Bangladesh pays tribute to U.S. blogger killed in machete attack.  Full Article 

The Apple Car

The Apple Car

Apple car rumours fuel Geneva debate about car of future.  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Dum Laga Ke Haisha" is rooted in reality, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar.  Full Article | Related Story 

Crowded Market

Crowded Market

China's Huawei enters smartwatch frenzy with round-face models.  Full Article 

Lathmar Holi

In Pics: Lathmar Holi

Images of "Lathmar Holi" at Nandgaon in Uttar Pradesh.  Full Coverage 

World Cup 2015

World Cup 2015

Full coverage of cricket world cup in Australia and New Zealand.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage