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Carlos Boozer says Kobe Bryant 'worth the admission price'

Carlos Boozer says Kobe Bryant 'worth the admission price'
Kobe Bryant and Carlos Boozer helped lead the Lakers to their first win of the season Sunday over the Charlotte Hornets, 107-92. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

The Lakers got their first win of the season Sunday night, in a balanced attack against the Charlotte Hornets (107-92).

In addition to Kobe Bryant's 21 points, the Lakers also got 21 from Jeremy Lin and 16 from Carlos Boozer. Both Lin and Boozer are playing their first seasons with Bryant as a teammate.

"He has the ultimate confidence," said Boozer after practice Tuesday.  "I've seen [Bryant] make shots that most guys couldn't even think about doing.  That's why fans come every night.  You might see him do something that night that you may never see again in your life. He's worth the admission price."

Boozer knows Bryant well as an opponent, getting knocked out of the playoffs three-straight years by the Lakers while a power forward for Utah Jazz (2008-2010).

"He's capable of making every shot that he takes. That's what makes him so dangerous," said Boozer. "He'll make a shot over three guys.  He'll make a shot over two guys. He'll make a shot when shots aren't there.

"You need somebody who can create that way. Not every team has that."

Boozer likened Bryant to Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, who won the NBA's most valuable player award in 2011.

Rose has struggled the past two seasons with knee injuries.

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"Derrick has the same kind of capability to make something happen when there's nothing there," said Boozer.

"Kobe is the ultimate guy that's had that his whole career. That's when it comes in handy, that last couple of minutes of a game, in a Game 6 or Game 7 of a playoff series when the other team locks up your first option, locks up your second option, locks up your third option and Kobe creates a fourth option."

The challenge for the Lakers will be qualifying for the playoffs in a very competitive Western Conference.

After playing four of their first six games at home, the Lakers (1-5) will play their next two on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies (6-1) and New Orleans Pelicans (3-2).

The team may get help soon. Recovering from thumb surgery, Nick Young was able to dribble and shoot around with his right hand.  He may be a week or two away from a return.

The Lakers are being cautious with Ryan Kelly, who is day-to-day with hamstring soreness.

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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