Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lakers Can't Beat Charlotte Bobcats

The Charlotte Bobcats continued their surprising recent domination of the Lakers by beating them in double-overtime 117-110 on Tuesday night. The Lakers lost for the fifth time in the last seven and fell to 4-5 all-time against the Bobcats. They also suffered their fourth loss at home this season.

Kobe Bryant had 38 points, eight rebounds and five assists before fouling out for the first time this season in the final minute of the first overtime. It was the first time Bryant has fouled out of a game since doing so in a loss at New Orleans on March 14, 2008, and just the 21st time he has fouled out in 1,061 career games.

Andrew Bynum had 24 points and 14 rebounds and Derek Fisher scored 14 for the Lakers. Sasha Vujajic contributed 10 points off-the-bench.

Pau Gasol scored just 10 points on 4-of-16 shooting with seven rebounds. "Pau probably had the worst night he's had as a Laker," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.

Boris Diaw had 23 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Raymond Felton played for 53 minutes and had 21 points, a career-high 11 rebounds and 9 assists. Emeka Okafor had 18 points and 11 rebounds. Raja Bell contributed 17 points while reserve Shannon Brown scored five of his 14 points in the second overtime.

"That was a heck of a win, it was a heck of a performance," Bobcats coach Larry Brown said. "Shannon had to play when Gerald [Wallace] got hurt, and he played great."

Wallace, who scored 15 points before leaving with 2:08 left in the fourth quarter after a flagrant foul by Bynum knocked him to the floor. He suffered a broken rib and partially collapsed left-lung and was taken to the hospital.

"I just think it was a terrific performance against a great team," Brown said. "I really don't know how to explain it because they are playing at such a high level."

"It's always stops," Bryant said regarding the late-game difference. "We've just got to learn from our mistakes and not let it happen again."

"It was one of those games where Kobe had kind of taken over for them," Bell said. "So when you lose that engine, I think it was more of the fact that they just didn't have that go-to guy down the stretch. It definitely didn't hurt that Kobe wasn't around. But more than anything, we continued to do what we did."

"We didn't get too high with the highs or too low with the lows. We just kept plugging away. We gave it away for a while and them we were really resilient at times. So we just stayed the course."

The game was the Lakers' first overtime contest of the season, leaving New Orleans as the only team that hasn't gone into overtime


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