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Kobe Bryant
photo courtesy of Mark J. Terrill/AP Photo

The Los Angeles Lakers continue to shine in the brutal Western Conference, as does one Kobe Bean. The “Next One” put on a scoring display yesterday as his Lakers beat the Dallas Mavericks in overtime, 108-104. It was another MVP-like performance from Bryant, who posted this pedestrian stat-line: 52 points (15-27 shooting, 17-17 from the line in the second half), 11 rebounds and 4 assists.

Speaking of MVPs, is this Kobe’s year, ala Scorsese with The Departed? Notes: The Mavericks win gives the Lakers twelve in their last fourteen. Kobe’s 52 was a league high this year. He also scored the Lakers’ last 14 points.

T-Mac, Rockets Still Winning
And speaking of strong team performances, the Rockets continue to win despite Yao’s injury. Last night’s beatdown of the Denver Nuggets makes three-in-a-row for the Rockets since their All-Star center went down and fifteen-in-a-row overall. If the Rockets continue to win, Mr. McGrady will, in all likelihood, enter the MVP discussion as well.

photo courtesy of Bill Baptist – Getty Images