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Lakers catch fire, bury Mavs on the road

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DALLAS (AP) - Metta World Peace hit three early 3-pointers to spark a Los Angeles barrage from long range, and the Lakers scored 36 points before Kobe Bryant took his first shot in a 115-89 blowout of the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.

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Bryant, the league's leading scorer, finished with 19 once he did start shooting as the Lakers hit the century mark for the first time in four games under hobbled coach Mike D'Antoni.

The Lakers won for the first time in five road games and avoided their worst start away from home in nearly 20 years.

O.J. Mayo, who led the league in 3-pointers going in, was 0 of 5 from long range and finished with 13 points. Vince Carter led Dallas with 16.

The Lakers don't expect their offense to find a high gear until Steve Nash returns from a leg injury, but they didn't need him against his old team.

Really, the Lakers didn't even need Bryant a night after he scored the final 14 Los Angeles points in a loss at Memphis. He hit his first shot early in the second quarter to put the Lakers up 41-23, and he made it a 20-point game on another bucket with 8:54 left in the half.

For good measure, Bryant hit a 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left in the second quarter to give Los Angeles a 65-38 halftime lead.

World Peace scored the first 10 Los Angeles points and finished the first quarter with 16, finally missing his first shot on a 3-pointer just before the buzzer. He was 6 of 7 from the floor, including 4 of 5 from long range. The first points from someone else came on an alley-oop dunk by Dwight Howard from Bryant.

World Peace didn't score again until another 3-pointer in the fourth quarter, but other Lakers got into the long-range act. They made 8 of 10 from 3-point range and shot 59 percent overall before halftime. Jodie Meeks hit a pair of 3-pointers, and Bryant and Antawn Jamison had the others as the Mavericks gave up a season high in points for a half and a game.

Jamison, World Peace and Bryant each scored 19 to lead the Lakers. Jamison also had 15 rebounds.

Howard, coming off consecutive seven-point games, scored 15 points. He had just two blocks, but altered several other shots from driving Dallas guards in helping hold the Mavericks to 38 percent shooting in the decisive first half. Dallas shot 37 percent for the game.

Brandan Wright was the leading scorer for the Mavericks until the 7:40 mark of the second quarter after playing just 22 minutes total the previous five games. He didn't play at all in two of those games. He scored six of the first eight Dallas points on a pair of jumpers and a follow-up dunk.

Mayo wasn't even the first Dallas scorer to pass Wright. Not only was he cold from long distance, he completely missed the rim on a finger-roll layup attempt while starting 1 of 7 from the field. He finished 5 of 15.

At halftime, Carter was the leading scorer for Dallas with seven.

A night after sitting the entire fourth quarter at Memphis, Pau Gasol had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers.

Notes: Carter played his 1,000th career game. He's made 947 starts in a 15-year career. Dirk Nowitzki played his 1,000th game for Dallas last season. Carter has played 75 games in Dallas with 40 starts. ... The 0-4 road start for the Lakers was their worst since 1995, when they finally won in the fifth game at Sacramento. They lost their first six on the road to start the 1993-94 season. ... The Mavericks gave up a season high in points. The previous high came in a 113-94 loss at Utah.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
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