Bryant scores 62 as LA tops Dallas

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Associated Press

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal both look in top form as they get set for their Christmas meeting.

Speaking of rivalries, Andrew Bogut will always remember his first NBA matchup against Tim Duncan.

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Bryant scored a career-high 62 points in just three quarters — including a franchise-record 30 in the third — to lead the Los Angeles Lakers over the Dallas Mavericks 112-90 Tuesday night.

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.

‘‘It’s a great feeling, to do it here at Staples Center in front of our fans — kind of an early Christmas present to them,’’ Bryant said.

O’Neal had an even shorter night, playing 24 minutes and scoring 28 points in Miami’s 111-92 rout of Atlanta in Pat Riley’s first home game since returning to the bench.

The added rest will no doubt benefit the superstars and former feuding teammates, who meet Sunday when the Heat host the Lakers in the second game of the Christmas doubleheader.

Milwaukee needed Bogut on the floor until the final buzzer to knock off the San Antonio Spurs.

The No. 1 pick in this year’s draft took an inbounds pass and made a short jumper as time expired to give the Bucks a 109-107 overtime victory over the Spurs.

‘‘I’ve never had a buzzer-beating game-winner, but to do it in the NBA against the world champions is a great feeling,’’ Bogut said. ‘‘The guy I’ve always looked up to is Tim Duncan. So, to do this against his team is a great feeling for me.’’

Duncan had a season-high 34 points on 15-of-28 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds, but he fouled out with 22 seconds left in overtime and had to watch Bogut’s biggest NBA moment from the bench.

Bogut also scored the tying basket on a follow shot with 14 seconds left in overtime and finished with 19 points. He added nine rebounds — seven offensive — and two blocked shots, plus delivered an early statement by driving past Duncan for a dunk to open the scoring.

‘‘He did a great job on the offensive glass, made some big baskets for them and showed some great touch right around the basket,’’ Duncan said.

As usual, O’Neal relied more on power than touch.

Rounding back into form after missing most of the season with a sprained ankle, Shaq hit his first eight shots — six dunks and two layups in the opening half — in making Riley’s first game back on the home bench an easy one.

‘‘It’s my job to make him look good,’’ O’Neal said. ‘‘He’s a very good looking man, so it’s my job to keep him looking good.’’

Gary Payton and Gerald Fitch each added 15 points, Dwyane Wade shook off an early injury to score 14 and Antoine Walker had 13 for Miami, which is 4-1 under Riley.

At Los Angeles, no other Lakers players were in double figures — not that it mattered.

Bryant matched his previous career high of 56 points by making two free throws with 1:02 left in the third quarter. He went on to score six more points in the period, capping his amazing night by making a long 3-pointer with 4.4 seconds left.

He fell nine points shy of Elgin Baylor’s franchise record of 71 points with the first 60-point game by a Lakers player since — who else? — O’Neal, against the Clippers on March 6, 2000.

‘‘I’ve seen a few 60-point ballgames in my time, but none of them had been done by the third quarter,’’ said Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who coached Michael Jordan in Chicago. ‘‘His 30-point third quarter was incredible.’’

Pistons 93, Trail Blazers 89

At Auburn Hills, Mich., Richard Hamilton scored 23 points and Tayshaun Prince added 21 to lead Detroit to its fifth straight win.

The Pistons improved to an NBA-best 20-3, the best 23-game record in franchise history. Chauncey Billups had 19 points and 10 assists.

Zach Randolph scored a career-high 37 points for the Trail Blazers, who fell to 7-17, the worst record in the Western Conference.

Suns 111, SuperSonics 83

At Phoenix, Shawn Marion scored 29 points to lead five Phoenix players in double figures.

Reserve Eddie House added 20 points as the Suns moved into a tie with the Los Angeles Clippers for first in the Pacific Division.

Ray Allen, who scored 26 points for Seattle, sank four 3-pointers to pass Glen Rice into third on the NBA career list with 1,662.

Cavaliers 110, Jazz 85

At Cleveland, LeBron James scored 25 points and took an early seat on the bench after Cleveland’s flurry of 3-pointers in the third quarter.

Damon Jones made four 3s in a stretch of 3:17 in the third as the Cavs won their third straight. Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who was questionable until game time after sustaining a mild concussion on Saturday, added 18 points and seven rebounds.

Gordan Giricek scored 16 to pace the Jazz, who were without forward Andrei Kirilenko (back spasms).

Nets 99, Clippers 85

At East Rutherford, N.J., Vince Carter scored 35 points and added nine assists and seven rebounds, leading New Jersey to its season-high third straight victory.

Richard Jefferson scored 20 points and Nenad Krstic had 17 for the Nets (12-12), who returned to .500 for the first time since they were 7-7 after beating Denver on Nov. 28.

The Clippers’ Elton Brand had 21 points and 13 rebounds for his 16th double-double of the season.

Bobcats 105, Bulls 92

At Chicago, Brevin Knight shook off a bruised right forearm and finished with 20 points and 10 assists.

Raymond Felton added 21 points and six assists as the Bobcats won for the third time in four games.

Chris Duhon and Othella Harrington each scored 16 points.