Devil Dish: Kobe steps up just in time

Currently dwelling in the ninth spot in the NBA’s Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers (28-29) are just trying to make the playoffs.

They trail James Harden’s Houston Rockets for the eighth and final seed of the playoff picture.

As of Monday, the Rockets are 2.5 games ahead of the Lakeshow with 25 games left in the 2012-13 season.

On the heels of a three-game win streak, the Lakers aren’t looking like the “Dream Team” everyone expected to see this season, but they’re coming together. They’re also getting hot at the right time.

Kobe Bryant put the team on his back and downed the Dallas Mavericks 103-99 Sunday.

Before Mark Cuban’s team hosted the Lakers, the Mavericks owner said to reporters that the Lakers should drop Bryant and his expensive contract to open up space on the Lakers’ salary cap.

Cuban should have known better.

“The Black Mamba” dropped 38 points and dished seven assists to lead the Lakers to victory, laying Cuban’s comments to rest by tweeting after the game, “Amnesty THAT.”

Reach the reporter at adrian.martinez1@asu.edu