By Ben Golliver
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant added another highlight to his storied career when he dunked over Hawks forward Josh Smith during the fourth quarter of L.A.'s 99-98 win at the Staples Center on Sunday night.
With a little more than two minutes remaining and the Hawks leading 94-93, Bryant drove past Smith to the right, lifting off two feet to throw down a cruising right-handed dunk as Smith attempted to block his shot.
Bryant finished with a game-high 34 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter and the game-winning bucket with nine seconds left, to help the Lakers (30-30) get back to .500 for the first time since Dec. 28. The Lakers are 2½ games behind Houston and Utah for the last two playoff spots in the Western Conference.
This dunk marks Bryant's second entry into the "Dunk of the Year" conversation, which also includes: Bryant over Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace; Michael Kidd-Gilchrist over Greg Monroe; DeMar DeRozan over Timofey Mozgov; Nick Young over Larry Sanders; Kevin Durant over Marcin Gortat; Gerald Henderson over Dwight Howard; Byron Mullens over LaMarcus Aldridge; Jeff Green over Al Jefferson; and Harrison Barnes over Nikola Pekovic.
Al Horford led the Hawks with 24 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Atlanta fell to 33-25 with the loss.