Lakers post first win since Bryant’s return

Updated: December 14, 2013

Charlotte, NC ( – The fourth time was the charm for Kobe
Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Bryant netted 21 points and hit a pair of free throws to give the Lakers the
lead with 37.1 seconds remaining in an 88-85 win over the Charlotte Bobcats
Saturday night.

It was the first time in four tries that Los Angeles won this season with
Bryant in the lineup since he returned from his Achilles injury.

The Lakers trailed 85-79 with 2:50 left after Kemba Walker nailed a jumper,
but Los Angeles closed the contest on a 9-0 run.

Following Walker’s make, Nick Young hit a triple and Bryant drove in for a
layup with 1:22 to go to cut the gap to one.

After Bryant made his foul shots, Gerald Henderson was unable to get his right
baseline jumper to drop. Al Jefferson secured the offensive rebound, but
missed a short jumper following a timeout.

Pau Gasol nailed two free throws with 6.2 ticks on the clock and Ben Gordon’s
desperation 3-pointer from the right wing came up short to seal the outcome.

Bryant also tallied eight assists and seven rebounds, while Gasol added 15
points and seven boards.

Walker had 24 points and eight assists for Charlotte, which has dropped three
in a row and five of its last seven contests.

The Bobcats led 23-22 after one, but the Lakers took a 44-43 edge into the

Walker poured in 11 points in the third as Charlotte took a 68-64 cushion into
the final frame.

Game Notes

The Lakers shot just 39 percent (30-of-77) from the floor, but made 21 of
their 23 foul shots … The Bobcats held a 46-30 points in the paint