Bryant silences Cuban with 38 points in Lakers' win

Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:00pm EST

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (R) reacts as guard Vince Carter (L) guards Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Dallas, Texas February 24, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Stone

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (R) reacts as guard Vince Carter (L) guards Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Dallas, Texas February 24, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Stone

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(Reuters) - Kobe Bryant fired back at Dallas owner Mark Cuban with 38 points as he devastated the opposing defense to lift the Los Angeles Lakers past the Mavericks 103-99 on Sunday.

After Cuban recently suggested the Lakers should consider waiving Bryant and his league-high salary next season, the five-time NBA champion showed his worth with an artistic display of clutch shooting and an all-around effort that included 12 rebounds and seven assists.

Dallas (25-30) led 90-87 midway through the fourth quarter but visiting Los Angeles nosed ahead with a seven-nil run led by Bryant and Nash who finished with 20 points.

The victory was a third straight for Los Angeles (28-29) who moved within two-1/2 games of the West playoff spot that Bryant has guaranteed the team will secure.

Cuban's comments centered around the NBA's "amnesty clause," which allows a team to release a player and avoid paying taxes on their salary.

The Mavericks owner has said that his suggestion was just hypothetical, while the Lakers released a statement saying such talk was "inappropriate."

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles, Editing by Tom Pilcher)

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