Lakers forward Metta World Peace knocks the ball from the grasp of Mavericks… (Harry How / Getty Images )
One of the Lakers' 7-footers probably now has Mike Brown's blessing to take even more three-pointers.
Pau Gasol made a pair of three-pointers in overtime, including a controversial basket in which teammate Matt Barnes appeared to touch the rim, to help the Lakers pull out a 112-108 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday at Staples Center.
The Mavericks had a chance to tie or go ahead in the final seconds, but Barnes contested Jason Terry's driving layup that hit the bottom of the rim and the Lakers' Metta World Peace grabbed the rebound. Dallas later fouled Gasol, who made two free throws to secure the victory.
PHOTOS: Lakers vs. Mavericks
The triumph completed a four-game, regular-season sweep by the Lakers, who were eliminated in four games by the Mavericks in last year's Western Conference semifinals.
Center Andrew Bynum, who was famously benched a few weeks ago after taking an ill-advised three-pointer against Golden State, put the Lakers ahead to stay with a turnaround jumper and finished with 23 points and 16 rebounds.
Ramon Sessions had 22 points while Gasol finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who improved to 4-1 with Kobe Bryant sidelined because of a sore left shin.
World Peace contributed 18 points, five rebounds, four assists and stout defense on Dallas' Delonte West, who had only four points in the second half to finish with 20. Nowitzki had 24 points on nine-for-28 shooting for the Mavericks, who also got 21 points from Terry.
Lakers 98, Mavericks 98 (end of regulation)
Just when it looked like another Lakers point guard was going to send Dallas to defeat at Staples Center, the Mavericks rallied in the final minutes to force overtime.
Nearly three months after Derek Fisher's late three-pointer sunk the Mavericks on this court, Ramon Sessions made a three-pointer and a floater to give the Lakers a 97-93 advantage.
But Dallas scored five of the final six points in regulation.
Sessions had a chance to give the Lakers a lead in the final moment but missed woefully short on a twisting, pull-up jumper from 10 feet, giving the Mavericks a final possesion with 1.8 seconds left. Dirk Nowitzki's turnaround, fadeaway jumper at the final buzzer hit off the side of the rim and bounced harmlessly away, though, sending the game into overtime.
Sessions has 22 points while Andrew Bynum has 21 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers.
Nowitzki has 19 points for the Mavericks.
Lakers 76, Mavericks 75 (end of third quarter)
Metta World Peace is showing he's a man of many talents, though he still leaves much to be desired in the dancing department.
The Lakers' small forward is making things difficult for the Dallas Mavericks on both ends of the court, spearheading his team's resurgence while helping to hold Delonte West scoreless in the third quarter.
West, who had scored 16 points in the first half, missed both of his shots in the third quarter. World Peace scored eight points after halftime, giving him 16 for the game to lead the Lakers. Point guard Ramon Sessions has 15 points and five assists.
The Lakers are hanging tough in part because they're outrebounding the Mavericks, 39-30.
Dirk Nowitzki started to heat up a touch in the third quarter, making three of seven shots after making only two of 10 attempts in the first half. Dallas is shooting 50% overall to the Lakers' 41.8%.
Mavericks 54, Lakers 48 (halftime)
The Lakers made a nice run in the second quarter, considering they don't have Kobe Bryant.
Then again, it's almost as if the Dallas Mavericks don't have Dirk Nowitzki.
The All-Star power forward missed his first seven shots before finally making a layup with 2 minutes 29 seconds left in the second quarter. He finished the first half with five points on two-for-10 shooting to go with seven rebounds.
Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol have combined to make only five of 17 shots for the Lakers, who closed to within two points late in the second quarter before the Mavericks scored four unanswered points.
Delonte West has 16 points to lead the Mavericks, who are trying to avoid being swept by the Lakers in the regular-season series. Ramon Sessions has 10 points for the Lakers.
Bryant, sitting out a fifth consecutive game with a sore left shin, told ESPN during its broadcast of the game that his injury was "feeling a lot better" and that he expected to return "well before the playoffs."
The Lakers have five regular-season games remaining after Sunday.
Mavericks 27, Lakers 22 (end of first quarter)
Andrew Bynum is battling an upper respiratory infection.
What's the rest of the Lakers' excuse?
Looking more lethargic than they have in weeks, the Lakers fell behind by double digits in the early going against the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday at Staples Center before making a late push.
Bynum made only one of eight shots, having one attempt blocked by Shawn Marion, but has grabbed five rebounds.
Delonte West, who missed the last two meetings between these teams, leads the Mavericks with 12 points.
Point guard Ramon Sessions leads the Lakers with 10 points.
A Lakers victory would give them a sweep of the regular-season series one year after Dallas swept them out of the Western Conference semifinals.
Ramon Sessions isn't letting this opportunity pass him by
Lamar Odom couldn't handle adversity as well as he once did
Mike Brown returns to Lakers; Kobe Bryant expected to sit out
Lakers vs. Mavericks: Live coverage from Staples Center