Kobe Bryant Nets 52

Matt LeeContributor IMarch 3, 2008

The Mavs came up just shy on Sunday, losing by four to the new-look Lakers.

Recent addition Pau Gasol contributed big-time for the Purple and Gold, dropping 17 points.  Fisher and Walton both dropped 11, while Lamar Odom knocked in six.

Oh yeah, and that guy Kobe Bryant—he banged 52.  This was just the 22nd time in his career that he's passed the half-century mark.

After the Lakers' rocky start, they made a few deadline moves and now—winning 11 of the last 13 games—they've flown to the top of most lists ranking favorite NBA Champ candidates.

In an interview with Michelle Tafoya, Lakers' head coach Phil Jackson said Kobe hasn't played this well since he came back from an ankle injury in '01.

So, for everyone out there who jumped off the Bryant Bandwagon, it may be high time that you jump back on.

Bryant scored 33 points on Saturday, which means his average points per game this weekend is 42.5

Can you say MVP?