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Kobe's 38 Leads Lakers Past Mavericks 103-99

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(DALLAS) -- Kobe Bryant scored 38 points and was three assists shy of a triple-double as he led the Los Angeles Lakers to a 103-99 win over the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday afternoon.

Bryant scored 14 points in the fourth quarter for the Lakers (28-29),  who survived a late rally by the Mavericks to hold on for the victory.  They still trail the Houston Rockets by 2 1/2 games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Dwight Howard chipped in nine points and 13 rebounds, while Steve Nash scored 20 for the Lakers.

Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks (25-30), with 30 points and 13 boards.   "He's been the best player in my decade," Nowitzki said, referring to Bryant. "I've in the NBA a long time and he's the one player I love to watch. It was a big game on the national TV stage. It was a fun one. We just came up a little bit short."

The Mavericks would have tied the Lakers for the ninth spot in the West with a win.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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