Andrew Bynum scored 10 points and pulled down nine rebounds in the first half, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 39-35 lead over the Dallas Mavericks at halftime at Staples Center. Both teams shot under 40% in a low-scoring first half Monday night.
Kobe Bryant, who leads the NBA in scoring this season and has averaged 38 points over his last eight games, including four straight contests with at least 40 points, didn't score for the first 19 minutes of the game, getting his first points on a breakaway dunk with 4:41 left in the second quarter. He ended the half with eight points, two rebounds, and two assists.
Dirk Nowitzki was similarly shutout, as he didn't score until nailing a jump shot with 6:29 remaining in the second quarter. Nowitzki ended the half with six points. Lamar Odom, who entered the game to an extended standing ovation in his first game back in Los Angeles since his trade to Dallas, lead the Mavericks with seven points off the bench. The Dallas bench outscored the Lakers reserves in the opening half, 18-6.
The Lakers held a 26-19 rebounding edge in the first half, and closed the half on a 14-5 run in the final six minutes to turn a five-point deficit into a four-point advantage. Pau Gasol added eight points and five rebounds for the Lakers.
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