Once up by 18 points, the Lakers lost to the Washington Wizards, 103-100, on Friday night at Staples Center.
Washington was led by Trevor Ariza, who hit 7-of-12 from three-point range. The former Lakers forward seemed to be open all game in the corners — often ignored by Bryant defensively.
John Wall scored 24 points with 16 assists for the Wizards (with just one turnover). Washington had just nine turnovers in the game. The Lakers had 17.
Bryant missed an open turnaround three-point attempt at the buzzer that would have forced overtime. After sitting two full games, Bryant scored 21 points in 38 minutes. He shot 8-of-18 from the field, dished 11 assists but also turned the ball over six times.
Gasol's return was less productive, scoring just four points on 2-of-10 shooting.
The Lakers stumbled both offensively and defensively in the third quarter. The Wizards out-scored the Lakers by 14 (31-17).
John Wall led Washington with 14 points along with 10 assists and just one turnover. Six Wizards scored in double figures as the team improved to 42.9% from the field after a slow start.
The Lakers had 16 turnovers while forcing Washington into just six.
Dwight Howard led the Lakers with 20 points and 12 rebounds. The Lakers, who were on fire for the first half, saw their field goal percentage dip to 49.2% from the field by the end of the third.
The Lakers and Wizards both scored 22 points in the second quarter, and the Lakers take a 16-point lead into the half.
Kobe dished a game-high six assists (with just four points) as the Lakers shot 53.7% from the field.
The Wizards were led by Martell Webster with 10 points, shooting just 36.2% from the field as a team.