The Lakers overcame a 20-point deficit to the Charlotte Bobcats to win 100-93. In other words, it was business as usually against one of the toughest teams in the NBA ... relatively speaking.
Regardless of how awful the Bobcats are in the standings (and make no mistake, they are the worst team in the league), they always seem to give the Lakers as hard a time as any team in the league. With the victory, the Lakers improve to 9-8 head-to-head all time against the Bobcats.
Kobe Bryant scored 20 points, all in the second half, along with eight assists. Jodie Meeks and Antawn Jamison hit important shots in the final five minutes as the Lakers improved to 24-27 on the season.
The Bobcats had pulled ahead 71-51 with 5:26 left in the third quarter. From that point on, the Lakers out-scored Charlotte 49-22.
Playing on the second night of a back-to-back, Coach Mike D'Antoni used just eight players. Steve Blake went scoreless in 17 1/2 minutes but was part of the early fourth-quarter unit that helped get the Lakers back into the game.
The Lakers shot 45% from the field for the game, 30.8% from three-point range and 80% from the line (20-25). Howard hit 4-6 from the stripe, pulled down 11 boards and blocked three shots.
After 11 first-half turnovers, the Lakers finished with just 13 for the game.
The Bobcats shot 42.7% from the field, finishing with 30 assists on 38 made-field goals. With the loss, the Charlotte Bobcats drop to 11-38 on the year.
The Lakers are trying to catch both the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers for the eighth playoffs spot in the Western Conference. The Rockets host the Blazers on Friday night. With the victory, the Lakers will gain a full game on at least one if their targets.
The Lakers somehow made up ground in the third quarter against the Bobcats but it wasn't pretty.
Clark had 17 points through three quarters to lead the Lakers. Nash scored 14. Kobe Bryant scored his first points of the game with 8:47 left in the third -- finishing with six.
The Bobcats were led by Byron Mullens with 20 points while shooting 45.6% from the field as a team. The Lakers shot 41.0% but didn't turn the ball over in the third.
Kobe Bryant didn't score in the first half against the Bobcats. Charlotte sent regular double-teams his way but Bryant wasn't able to capitalize with more than just two assists.
The Lakers struggled to hit shots, shooting 39.5% from the field while turning the ball over 11 times (four in the second quarter).