Sat, Dec 06, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Bryant moves up a gear as Lakers beat Mavs and hold on to unbeaten streak


Los Angeles Lakers' guard Kobe Bryant, left, drives around Dallas Mavericks' guard Josh Howard, right, during the first quarter of their game in Dallas on Thursday.


Kobe Bryant scored 15 of his 32 points in the third quarter Thursday to help the Los Angeles Lakers cruise past the Dallas Mavericks 114-103 for their eighth straight victory.

"We felt we were in control the whole game," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "We had an idea of what we wanted to do and we did it."

Shaquille O'Neal had 25 points and 19 rebounds, and Gary Payton had 17 points and eight assists. Karl Malone, who came an assist shy of a triple-double last time against Dallas, had 11 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

"We match up against this team very well," O'Neal said. "We're always pumped up to play the big teams. We knew this was a huge game."

This was the eighth straight win for Los Angeles, the last four against stiff competition. Before beating the Midwest Division leaders, the Lakers beat Eastern Conference-leading Indiana by 22 and reigning champion San Antonio twice by a total of 20 points.

Steve Nash scored 12 of his season-high 30 points during a second-quarter rally that got Dallas within five, but Los Angeles was back in control by halftime.

76ers 83, Bulls 82

In Philadelphia, Allen Iverson scored 35 points and sank the winning jumper with 47 seconds remaining to lift Philadelphia over Chicago.

Iverson, who scored 85 points his previous two games, took the pass from Eric Snow and dribbled down to the baseline where he made a fadeaway with Kirk Hinrich's hand right in his face.

The Bulls had one last chance with 1.6 seconds left, but Linton Johnson's inbounds pass, intended for Hinrich, knocked off the backboard instead, making Scott Skiles a loser for the first time as Bulls coach. Skiles had won in his Bulls' debut.

Jamal Crawford led the Bulls with 22 points, Eddie Curry had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Hinrich had 14 points.

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