Bryant sends message with 62 points Tuesday

Thursday, December 22, 2005

LOS ANGELES -- Two nights after a most annoying loss, Kobe Bryant took out his anger and frustration on the poor Dallas Mavericks.

Bryant was at his 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 16 1/2 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."

Message received.

"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.

Baylor scored a franchise-record 71 points on Nov. 15, 1960, at New York.

The NBA record for points in a quarter is 33 by George Gervin for San Antonio in 1978.

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