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Friday, Feb. 24, 2012

Bynum all smiles as Lakers top Mavs


DALLAS — Andrew Bynum had a huge smile on his face after he grabbed a rebound of his own miss and got fouled on an attempted putback.

News photo
Happy times: Jeremy Lin shares a laugh with Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni during the first half on Thursday night against the Hawks. New York beat Atlanta 99-82. AP

Not long after making both those free throws to put the Los Angeles Lakers ahead to stay, Bynum was running after teammate Derek Fisher to give him a big hug following a 3-pointer by the veteran guard.

Bynum had 19 points and 14 rebounds, including several big plays in the final 5½ minutes, as the Lakers hit the halfway point of their season with a 96-91 victory over the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

"Andrew was great," coach Mike Brown said.

The free throws by Bynum broke an 82-all tie with 5:29 left and put the Lakers (20-13) ahead to stay after 13 ties and 10 lead changes.

After the Mavericks failed to take advantage of a turnover by Kobe Bryant when Jason Terry gave it right back, Bynum was underneath the basket with the ball. But he instead passed it to Fisher in the left corner for a 3-pointer. Bynum was smiling broadly when he chased down and hugged Fisher when Dallas called timeout.

Fisher, whose driving short jumper with 3:41 left ended a 9-0 run and made it 89-82, had given Bynum a pep talk before the game. They were also thinking about the playoffs against Dallas last season.

"We got swept last year, and it was on our minds," Bynum said.

There was also Bynum's alley-oop dunk from Bryant with 1:05 left that stretched the lead to 93-86. The Lakers then held on despite missing six consecutive free throws after that.

Bryant missed two free throws with 37 seconds left. After Dirk Nowitzki's tip-in got Dallas within 93-91, Pau Gasol was fouled and missed both of his free throws with 20 seconds left.

"I'm a little overweight, I'm too young to have a heart attack," Brown said after watching all those misses.

But Matt Barnes grabbed the rebound after Gasol's second miss and was quickly fouled himself. He ended the Lakers' charity-line slump with two free throws.

"That was big," Fisher said. "The way last season ended, this game was big for a lot of us."

Gasol had 24 points for the Lakers, while Bryant and Fisher each had 15. Bryant shot 4 of 15 while being held 14 below his NBA-leading scoring average, and was scoreless until two free throws with 10 seconds left in the first quarter.

Nowitzki had 25 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Mavericks (21-13), who played their final game before the All-Star break after winning seven of their previous eight games. Vince Carter had 20.

"I'm disappointed tonight, I'm not dismayed," coach Rick Carlisle said. "Our effort was there, we just didn't make enough plays at both ends. . . . The break's coming at a good time."

The Lakers have one more game before the All-Star break. They play Thursday night at Oklahoma City.

Lamar Odom missed the game for the Mavericks against his former team. Odom was the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year for the Lakers last season and won three NBA championship rings in seven years in Los Angeles.

Knicks 99, Hawks 82

In New York, Jeremy Lin had an easy night ahead of his toughest opponent yet, and the Knicks tuned up for their trip to Miami by beating the Hawks.

Lin had 17 points and nine assists, sitting out most of the fourth quarter in a rare game during his remarkable run that New York needed little from him.

Carmelo Anthony scored 15 points in his second game back from injury for the Knicks, who led the depleted Hawks by 25 points at halftime. New York bounced back from a loss to New Jersey on Monday and won for the ninth time in 11 games since Lin joined the rotation.

Bulls 110, Bucks 91

In Chicago, Carlos Boozer scored 20 points, Derrick Rose and Luol Deng each added 16, and the Bulls beat Milwaukee for the seventh straight time.

Thunder 119, Celtics 104

In Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook scored 31 points, and Kevin Durant added 28.

Pacers 102, Bobcats 88

In Charlotte, Tyler Hansbrough had a season-high 22 points and nine rebounds as Indiana continued its dominance of the Bobcats.

Magic 108, Nets 91

In Newark, New Jersey, Dwight Howard had 20 points and 17 rebounds to help Orlando roll to victory against the Nets.

Rockets 93, 76ers 87

In Houston, Luis Scola had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Kyle Lowry added 13 points and two crucial three-point plays down the stretch in a win over the Sixers.

Raptors 103, Pistons 93

In Toronto, DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points, Aaron Gray set season highs with 12 points and 12 rebounds and the Raptors beat Detroit to snap a three-game losing streak.

Timberwolves 100, Jazz 98

In Minneapolis, Luke Ridnour hit a floater in the lane at the buzzer, capping Minnesota's comeback from 16 points down in the fourth quarter.

Hornets 89, Cavaliers 84

In Cleveland, Chris Kaman scored 21 points, Marco Belinelli added 19 and New Orleans held off a late rallly.

Kings 115, Wizards 107

In Washington, Marcus Thornton scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half, and rookie Isaiah Thomas had 16 of his 18 after halftime.

Warriors 106, Suns 104

In Phoenix, Monta Ellis hit a long fadeaway jump shot with 1 second remaining to lift Golden State.

Clippers 103, Nuggets 95

In Los Angeles, Chris Paul scored a season-high 36 points, Blake Griffin added 27 and the Clippers snapped a two-game skid in their last game before the All-Star break.

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