7:30 PM ET, December 20, 2005
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Two nights after a most annoying loss, Kobe Bryant took out his anger and frustration on the poor Dallas Mavericks.
Bryant was at his incredible best Tuesday night, scoring a career-high 62 points in just three quarters to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 112-90 victory over the Mavericks.
The 27-year-old Bryant, who brought a 31.3-point average into the game, shot 18-of-31, including 4-of-10 from 3-point range, and made 22 of 25 foul shots while playing only 33 minutes.
When he left the game, he had outscored the Mavericks by himself, 62-61.
"I was so frustrated by the loss the other night I was going to will us to victory," Bryant said, referring to a 76-74 loss to the Houston Rockets. Bryant scored 24 points in that game -- a total he matched in the first 16½ minutes against the Mavericks.
"I was very angry, I felt like I wanted to come out and send a message, that we're going to dominate at home," he said. "We're going to hit you, we're going to bring it to you. I wanted to send that message."
"We had no answer for him," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. "We tried to double-team him, we tried to zone him, we tried to trap him in the backcourt, and nothing worked. He had his way with us tonight."
Bryant scored 15 points in the first quarter, 17 in the second, and a franchise-record 30 in the third before taking a seat for good with the Lakers leading 95-61.
"I just felt like I could continue to attack these guys," Bryant said. "It was just determination, take it to them. It's definitely the best scoring game I've ever had."
The previous Lakers record for points in a quarter was 24 shared by Bryant and Hall of Famers Jerry West and Elgin Baylor.
The NBA record for points in a quarter is 33 by George Gervin for San Antonio in 1978. Denver's David Thompson scored 32 in a quarter the same season, and Wilt Chamberlain scored 31 in a quarter for Philadelphia in 1962, when he set the single-game NBA record with 100 points.
Baylor scored a franchise-record 71 points on Nov. 15, 1960, at New York. Bryant's total is the sixth-highest in club history and the most for the Lakers since Chamberlain scored 66 at Phoenix on Feb. 9, 1969.
The capacity crowd of 18,997 began chanting, "We want Kobe! We want Kobe!" early in the final period, but with the Lakers holding an insurmountable lead, there was no need for coach Phil Jackson to put the 6-foot-6 star back into the game.
"We wanted to win the game, the game was in the bag, it was in the refrigerator," Bryant said. "There was no reason for me to go back in."
Bryant matched his previous career high of 56 points by making two free throws with 1:02 left in the third quarter. He went on to score six more points in the period, capping his amazing night by making a long 3-pointer with 4.4 seconds left.
As the period ended -- after Los Angeles had outscored Dallas 42-17 -- Bryant held a hand to his ear, and the volume increased even more. Bryant then called it a night.
"It's a great feeling, to do it here at Staples Center in front of our fans -- kind of an early Christmas present to them," Bryant said.
Bryant became the first NBA player to reach 60 points since Philadelphia's Allen Iverson scored 60 in a 112-99 victory over Orlando last February.
His total was the highest in Staples Center history, surpassing the 61 points Shaquille O'Neal scored against the Clippers on March 6, 2000 -- O'Neal's 28th birthday.
"I've seen a few 60-point ballgames in my time, but none of them had been done by the third quarter," said Jackson, who coached Michael Jordan in Chicago. "His 30-point third quarter was incredible."
Bryant reached the 50-point plateau for the sixth time in his career, and the first since March 28, 2003, against Washington. Cleveland's LeBron James had the previous single-game high this season with 52 points on Dec. 10.
Nobody else scored in double figures for the Lakers (14-11), who won for the eighth time in 10 games. The loss was just the second in 10 games for the Mavericks (18-7). The other defeat was a 109-106 setback to the Lakers on Dec. 12 in Dallas, when Bryant scored 43 points.
Johnson said before the game he would use "the whole team" to guard Bryant, and several different Dallas players gave it a go with very little success.
Johnson was ejected after being hit with two technical fouls early in the third quarter.
Steve Javie called technicals on Johnson and Nowitzki with 10:16 left in the period after Nowitzki was inadvertently struck in the face by Bryant, but was called for a foul.
Johnson picked up his second technical 2½ minutes later, leaving with the Mavericks trailing 68-50. Bryant had 41 points at that stage.
Bryant was 11-of-18 from the floor, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range, and 8-of-9 from the foul line for 32 points at halftime. Lamar Odom was the Lakers' second-leading scorer at that stage with six points.
Bryant had 15 points and five rebounds in the first nine minutes to spark the Lakers to a 22-17 lead. It was 25-18 entering the second period.
Dallas guard Jerry Stackhouse hopes to play for the first time this season Friday night in Seattle. He hasn't played because of an injured right knee. "I'm just thankful the time has come for me to be out there," said Stackhouse, averaging 20.4 points in his 10-year NBA career. ... The Lakers are 8-5 on the road compared to 6-6 at home. ... Dallas G Marquis Daniels returned to action after missing two games because of a strained neck and had six points in 25 minutes. ... Rick Fox, who helped the Lakers win three championships before retiring after the 2003-04 season, was honored in a brief ceremony after the first quarter.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||34-92 (.370)||36-72 (.500)|
|3PM-3PA||2-15 (.133)||6-18 (.333)|
|FTM-FTA||20-30 (.667)||34-48 (.708)|
|Fast Break Points||9||12|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||28 (3/1)||29 (0/0)|