Kobe scores 32 in losing effort

DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas Mavericks are finding out that maybe
Jason Terry was the right point guard to replace Steve Nash after all.

Terry continued his roll since finally moving into the starting lineup, scoring a season-high 28 points and doing a great job running the offense in a 118-104 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.

"I started getting in the lane and hitting guys, then they started to find me and I started attacking," Terry said. "That's the kind of rhythm we're looking for."

Terry's numbers were gaudy -- 9-of-10 on field goals, perfect on five 3-pointers and 5-of-6 on free throws. He also had six rebounds, five assists and just one turnover. The stunning part was a 12-minute stretch when he either scored or assisted on 27 of 29 points, taking Dallas from five down to up by 14.

But perhaps the most important stat is the Mavericks improving to 6-1 since he's become the starter, with their scoring up to 110 points per game. They were 15-9 and averaging 99 points when Terry was backing up rookie Devin Harris.

The Lakers gave up their second-most points in regulation this season, but coach Rudy Tomjanovich called it "the worst defense we've played." It also came the night after a 100-83 loss to San Antonio that wasn't even that close.

"We've got to put a tourniquet on it and win some games," Tomjanovich said, adding that missed shots on offense tend to leave players sagging on defense.

Kobe Bryant scored 32 points but was shut out until early in the second quarter, when Los Angeles already trailed by 15. He was also angry about the defense.

"We're not getting it done," he said. "Tonight, they got whatever they wanted. Teams have been getting in the paint and getting easy shots on us. Sometimes it takes a couple of kicks in the butt to get you going."

Dallas led by as many as 17 and by at least 10 throughout the second half. The rout was a nice way for the Mavericks to cap their first three-game winning streak over the Lakers since 1986-87.

Bryant's cold start and Terry's early roll dampened the expected shootout between Bryant and Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki, the league's second- and third-leading scorers. Nowitzki finished with 25, including seven straight to open the fourth quarter after Los Angeles began to rally.

Michael Finley added 16 points for the Mavericks and Erick Dampier had 13 points and 13 rebounds. Josh Howard had 15 points, six rebounds and four assists.

Harris provided great relief, too, scoring 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting, and had several plays that showed why he was the No. 5 overall pick. They included a backcourt steal immediately followed by a superb touch pass, several high-flying dunks and a long 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer that he celebrated with a fist pump.

"I think that is the first time that I have been pleased with both point guards in the same game," Dallas coach Don Nelson said.

Terry was acquired from Atlanta this summer to bridge the gap between Nash and Harris, the No. 5 overall pick. Then Nelson decided in training camp that Harris was ready, and Terry accepted his demotion without complaint.

While Terry has had the good fortune of taking over during a soft part of the schedule, his impact is still appreciated by teammates.

"We're finding ways to win games we should win," Nowitzki said.

Chris Mihm had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, and
Chucky Atkins had 14 points and nine assists. Lamar Odom had 14 points, seven in the opening minutes.

A night after their only lead against San Antonio was 2-0, Los Angeles was ahead 14-9 with 6:40 left in the first quarter. Then the Lakers went nearly six minutes without scoring.

That's also when Terry took over.

He had three 3-pointers and 11 points during a 15-0 run and guided a 21-3 burst for the rest of the quarter. The only points he didn't score or assist on were a pair of free throws by Howard. Terry set up Howard for Dallas' first basket of the second quarter and then scored the next six points himself, putting the Mavs up 38-24.

Game notes
Dallas broke 100 points for the sixth straight game, its longest stretch of the season. The Mavs also upped their scoring average with Terry starting to 110, up from 99 with Harris starting. ... The Lakers are 0-12 when allowing 100 points, 9-7 when scoring 100. ... After playing at San Antonio and Dallas, the Lakers next play Houston -- but in Los Angeles. ... The Mavs have won four in a row at home for the first time this season.

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