CHARLOTTE— The Charlotte Bobcats blew a late lead and a chance to hand the Los Angeles Lakers a devastating blow with an 88-85 loss Friday night at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Kemba Walker drained an 18-foot jumper to put the ‘Cats up 85-79 with 2:49 remaining, but Charlotte didn’t score again as the Lakers closed out their win with a 9-0 run.
Kobe Bryant was instrumental in helping L.A. avoid a fourth straight loss since his return from injury, hitting a layup and connecting on a pair of free throws. Nick Young salted away the Lakers victory with a clutch three-pointer and Pau Gasol added a pair of free throws.
Bryant finished with 21 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds while Gasol and Jordan Hill added 15 each.
Kemba Walker was the game’s high scorer with 24 points, while teammates Al Jefferson and Jeff Taylor struggled with their shooting in combining to hit just 10 of 31 field goal attempts.