DALLAS — The Lakers’ make-or-break trip is history, and they might have made up enough ground on the Dallas Mavericks to catch them in the Western Conference standings before the end of the regular season. The third-place Lakers (47-20) have 15 games remaining in order to overtake the second-place Mavericks (47-19). There’s no chance the Lakers can catch the conference- and league-leading San Antonio Spurs (54-12). The Spurs defeated the Houston Rockets tonight.
Andrew Bynum sparked the Lakers’ third win on their four-game trip by scoring a season-high 22 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Kobe Bryant scored only 16 points and suffered what Lakers coach Phil Jackson called a “severe” sprain to his left ankle. Jackson said he hoped Bryant could play Monday against the Orlando Magic. Lamar Odom got cut on his left eyelid and had to have it glued shut. The cut was in a sensitive place and could not be stitched. Pau Gasol added 18 points and Ron Artest had 12. Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki each scored 25 for Dallas.
The Lakers and the Mavericks play one more time, on March 31 at Staples Center.
Bryant on his sprained left ankle: “All jokes aside, I thought I was done. I was just praying that when I stood up that my foot was lined up straight. All jokes aside, that really scared me. It looked horrible and it felt worse. I thought I dislocated it. I wasn’t really sure how it was going to respond, jogging around back here (in the locker room) and then going back out to the floor and playing was a little different. It felt OK.”