Found April 03, 2013 on Fox Sports West:
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Kobe Bryant had 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in his 19th career triple-double, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Dallas Mavericks 101-81 Tuesday night in a key game for the two teams struggling to get into the Western Conference playoff picture. Dwight Howard had 24 points and 12 rebounds while hitting seven fourth-quarter free throws for the Lakers (39-36), who had lost four of six before jumping to a big early lead on Dallas and hanging on to it throughout the second half. With former coach Phil Jackson in attendance for Shaquille O'Neal's jersey retirement, Bryant put on a virtuoso performance while playing more than 47 minutes. With the win, Los Angeles moved back into an eighth-place tie in the West with the Utah Jazz (39-36), who hold the tiebreaker edge on the Lakers. Dallas (36-38) still has a game in hand on the Lakers and Jazz, but the Mavs' task just got tougher. Chris Kaman scored 14 points and Dirk Nowitzki had just 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting for the Mavericks, who had won four of five. After trailing for most of the night, Dallas was down by just seven points when the Mavs began intentionally fouling Howard. Hack-a-Dwight backfired miserably, with Howard going a respectable 7 for 12 while the Lakers made a decisive 16-1 run, holding the Mavericks without a field goal down the stretch. Pau Gasol had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, while Earl Clark contributed 17 points and 12 rebounds while playing a stellar defensive game off the bench. Bryant has rested for just 79 seconds in the past two games, but he's keeping the Lakers afloat during their latest round of injuries. The Lakers played without Steve Nash and Metta World Peace, forcing coach Mike D'Antoni to create his latest makeshift starting lineup in a season full of them. Nash is hopeful he'll return Friday after a bit more rest for his injured hip, while World Peace won't be back any time soon from surgery on a torn meniscus in his left knee. Although the Lakers aren't at full strength, at least they can get some rest at home. After a road-heavy March schedule, the Lakers must leave Los Angeles just once more in the regular season during their sprint to the playoffs, making a single overnight trip to Portland while playing six of their last eight on their home court. The Lakers retired O'Neal's No. 34 jersey at halftime, with Lakers luminaries including Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Jamaal Wilkes assembling for the ceremony. The Staples Center crowd loved Shaq, but the fans adored former coach Phil Jackson, who attended what was likely his first game since walking away from the team in 2011. Jackson was serenaded with multiple chants of "We want Phil!" during his brief remarks to the crowd, echoing the same chants that filled Staples Center late last year when the Lakers flirted with bringing back the 11-time NBA champion coach before unexpectedly hiring D'Antoni to replace Mike Brown. Jackson watched the first three quarters from courtside next to his fiancee, Jeanie Buss, and the Lakers appeared to be putting on their best performance in front of him. Bryant was particularly brilliant, racking up 17 points, nine assists and six rebounds in the first three quarters. The Lakers made an 18-6 run for a 16-point lead late in the first half, with Bryant playing an all-around game. After banking in a tremendously difficult 16-footer while getting fouled, he spun and appeared to look directly at Jackson, whose smile didn't change. Los Angeles' 15-point halftime lead dwindled to five before Clark led another rally, and Bryant kept the Lakers ahead in the fourth quarter before Dallas resorted to purposely fouling Howard. NOTES: Even during his special night, O'Neal didn't let up on his season-long motivational criticism of Howard. "He has the potential to be one of the greatest big men ever, but he has to want it," O'Neal said of Howard, who has reacted coolly to Shaq's prodding on television. ... O'Neal thanked celebrities, actors and agents during his speech, including Adam Sandler -- his co-star in the upcoming "Grown-Ups 2." ... Nowitzki got a technical foul for arguing with 4:04 to play while Dallas trailed by seven points.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Kobe Bryant, The Cancer

Yes he’s a future hall-of-famer. And yes, he is arguably the best player to have ever played in the NBA; some analysts place Kobe Bryant above Michael Jordan on the list of the NBA’s greatest players of all time. Questioning Bryant’s talent and accomplishments is ignorant; numbers never lie. His capabilities shouldn’t be the Laker’s concern, but the effects his presence has

Kobe Bryant's message to Shaq prior to jersey retirement (Video)

Since the Los Angeles Lakers retired Shaquille O'Neal's jersey tonight, you knew that the Lakers would reach out to former teammate Kobe Bryant to say some words about Shaq.Below is the full message that Kobe delivered to the Staples Center crowd:

Kobe Bryant’s new ‘Vino Script’ Art

Black Mamba no more? Seems like KB might be incorporating the old nickname with the new one. This Kobe Bryant  piece by Yih Tak Wong from Singapore City, Singapore pays homage to the “Black [...]

Kobe Bryant may decide future this summer

It takes a lot for Kobe Bryant to admit his mortality. He played an entire season with a torn pinky (wining a gold medal and a championship when he really needed surgery). He had a severely sprained ankle that had him out indfinitely -- he did not miss a game and tried to give it a go the next time out. Bryant, even with 16 years under his belt, cannot stop father time. It is...

CC video of the day: Kobe's milestone making shot

It may be a turbulent season for the Los Angeles Lakers but Kobe Bryant brought some smiles to the team and fans versus the Kings. Heading into the Sacramento game, Bryant was chasing NBA great Wilt Chamberlain on the All-Time scoring list for fourth place and in the second quarter of action, Kobe did it. With one shot from the field, Kobe passed Wilt to score 31,423 point...

Shaq set to be honored at Staples Center

LOS ANGELES Tuesday night at Staples Center the Lakers will retire the number 34 jersey worn by the great center Shaquille ONeal during his eight-year tenure with the Lakers. Fans may also get to see another retirement of sorts: a public end to the Shaq-Kobe Bryant feud. ONeal and Bryant both came to the Lakers in 1996 Shaq as a free agent and Kobe as part of a draft day trade...

Lakers retire Shaquille O’Neal’s jersey with speeches from Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson & Jeanie Buss

Tuesday night in LA, the “Most Dominant Ever” jersey was retired at  Staples Center. Shaquille O’Neal, accompanied by his children and his mother watched his #34 raised into the rafters by the Lakers. The halftime ceremony which featured a video from Kobe Bryant and speeches by  Phil Jackson and Lakers EVP Jeanie Buss. The three shared memories and laughs of the “Shaq...

Ranking The NBA Backcourts - Update 5

(Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports)   The 2012/13 NBA season looked like it was going to be all about power packed backcourt duos.  The offseason saw numerous high profile guard combos hook up - the Lakers with Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant; Houston's Jeremy Lin and James Harden; Brooklyn teamed up Joe Johnson with Deron Williams.  But which NBA backcourt starting pair...

Shaq's jersey retirement heart felt, and odd

LOS ANGELES -- As is the norm when Shaquille ONeal and Kobe Bryant are involved, ONeals jersey retirement ceremony was a mixture of happiness, celebration and oddity. Bringing back fond Lakers championship memories on Tuesday night at Staples Center, Shaq began his speech by yelling, Can you dig it?, which he did after the Lakers won their first three championships of the Phil...

Kobe says Magic's support for gay son is a lesson in 'tolerance'

Over the weekend Magic Johnson came out in support of his openly gay son Earvin Johnson III and said he could be any happier for his 20-year-old kid. The former NBA great told TMZ that he and his wife Cookie "support him in every way" and "we're very proud of him." Kobe Bryant was so impressed by Magic's stand on his son's personal life, he lauded...

Shaquille O’Neal Jersey Retirement Muffed by Lakers, Who Hang Backwards Jersey Among Other L.A. Greats (Photos)

Tuesday night’s Lakers ceremony retiring Shaquille O’Neal‘s jersey was a special affair. Jack Nicholson appeared, the fans chanted for Phil Jackson to return, and even O’Neal and Kobe Bryant appeared to be getting on good footing as Los Angeles honored No. 34. But, as tends to happen in some special moments, the Lakers got one little detail wrong. That little detail is now...

Optimal NBA FanDuel Lineup: 4/2

Only Important Injuries: -Steve Nash likely out (stock up for Kobe Bryant, Steve Blake) -LeBron, Wade, Chalmers out (stock up for Chris Bosh, Ray Allen, Shane Battier, Norris Cole) -Noah, Belinelli likely out (stock up for Jimmy Butler, Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson, Nate Robinson) Lineup 1 (60K) PG Nate Robinson ($5800) Steve Blake ($3700) SG Kobe Bryant ($9500) Vince Carter ($5600...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.