Kobe Bryant had 38 points to win a scoring duel with Dirk Nowitzki, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Dallas Mavericks 103-99 Sunday in a matchup of teams fighting to get in the playoff race.
With chants of MVP from a strong contingent of Lakers fans, Bryant scored 14 in the fourth, including seven in the final 3 minutes to hold off a spirited Dallas effort.
Nowitzki finished with 30 points and 13 rebounds for the Mavericks, who had a chance to pull virtually even with the Lakers for ninth place in the Western Conference. Houston is in eighth, with a cushion of several games.
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