Inactives For Tonight’s Game:
Bobcats: Sean May, Adam Morrison
Lakers: Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, Chris Mihm
10:01 Quick start on offense for Turiaf, showing excellent touch from about 16 feet out in nailing two straight jumpers for a 5-2 Lakers lead.
8:40 Radmanovic ends an 8-0 run by the Bobcats who had taken advantage of a somewhat sluggish start by L.A. to capture an early 10-5 lead. Emeka Okafor leads Charlotte in scoring with four points.
6:38 Kobe gives Lamar a nifty interior pass that leads to an easy layup for Odom over two outstretched Bobcats defenders. The make was Odom’s first of the game, but he’s already racked up three rebounds and three assists in just over five minutes of play.
4:14 Turiaf continues his impressive shooting from outside, nailing yet another jumper from outside. Ronny leads the Lakers in scoring with six, on three of four from the field. However, the Lakers have been unable to shake the pesky Bobcats, as Charlotte’s lead is up to six at 23-17. Gerald Wallace is torching L.A. so far, leading all scorers with eight points on a perfect three for three from the field.
1:40 Mbenga, Farmar and Vujacic enter the game for the first time, as Coach Jackson tries to inject some life into the Lakers, now down by a game-high 10 points, 17-27.
55.0 Kobe gets a rise out of the antsy STAPLES Center crowd after grabbing an offensive rebound on Vujacic’s three point try. Bryant just missed a wide open Mbenga underneath the basket on the initial try. Finally, it looks like the Lakers have come to play.
0.00 After having his shot blocked on the previous possession, Farmar takes the ball down the court and drills a 26-footer to close out the quarter and bring the Lakers to within four of the Bobcats at 24-27. More importantly, L.A. has taken almost all of Charlotte’s initial momentum back heading into the second quarter.
9:35 DJ surprises even himself, hitting a wide open eight footer in front of the basket to give the Lakers their first field goal of the second quarter. The Bobcats are still clinging to the lead 31-27, but the current unit on the floor has successfully woken up the team, outscoring Charlotte 10-4 since coming into the game with about two minutes left in the first quarter.
8:18 Odom takes Matt Carroll in a ride through the lane, navigating around him and to an easy basket. The Lakers desperately needed the make after the Bobcats had taken control of the game once again, recapturing their 10 point lead at 39-29 in what’s been an up-and-down game for both teams so far.
5:24 Jackson calls a timeout after Charlotte has once again scored consecutive baskets to increase a six point deficit for the Lakers to double digits at 41-31. L.A. is only shooting 14-34 from the field so far and had been unable to sustain any rhythm on offense except for brief stretches. After the timeout, Turiaf, Fisher and Odom return to the floor for the Lakers.
4:35 Kobe hits a much-needed three pointer the Lakers that cuts the lead down to seven. Bryant has four points and three rebounds on the night, but it shooting only two of seven from the field.
1:43 Luke comes through with a drive to the hoop and one that once again, cuts the lead down to six points at 41-47. The Lakers have stalled at that number for at least three times this half already, failing to stop the Bobcats long enough to allow for an extended run.
HALFTIME: The Lakers are lucky to be down by only 13 points, after sleepwalking themselves into a 57-44 halftime deficit. Jason Richardson torched L.A. for 16 points including a huge momentum-changing four point play in the final minute of the half. Ronny Turiaf was the lone Laker to much of anything on their end of the floor, tallying 10 points on four of seven shooting from the field. After a string of incredible games, Lamar Odom has been a non-factor so far, scoring only five points and grabbing four rebounds. As a team, the Lakers shot only 42% from the floor, compared to a whopping 56% for the Bobcats.
9:41 For a team that left the court to boos from 18,997 angry fans, you’d think the Lakers would come out firing in the second half. Instead, it’s been Charlotte who has continued to impose their will on the purple and gold, opening up a game-high 16 point lead after one of two from the line from Kobe.
8:51 The Bobcats call timeout after Kobe drives through the lane with ease for a layup off glass that cuts the lead to 15 at 65-50. Charlotte had pushed the deficit to 19 after nailing a three-pointer two possessions ago. Kobe’s upped his totals on the game to 16 points, but is still shooting a poor 6-16 from the field.
6:34 Kobe’s headed to the line for two and a chance to cut the Bobcat’s lead to 13 with two makes. Only in the past two defensive possessions have the Lakers shown any real fortitude on defense, with Odom making a great hustle play to retrieve the ball for L.A.
5:10 Bad news for Charlotte’s upset bid: it looks like Kobe is beginning to take this one personally, hitting an incredibly difficult shot at the shot clock buzzer and getting a free throw on top of it to bring the Lakers to within 12 of the Bobcats at 69-57.
3:53 Lamar goes coast-to-coast for a difficult layup that barely rolls off the rim and in to decrease the lead to single digits again, 61-69. Maybe even more importantly, the crowd is back into the game, giving the Lakers a standing ovation going into the timeout.
2:47 Farmar replaces Fisher in the Lakers’ lineup as Charlotte’s scored four straight points to increase their lead to 73-61.
30.8 Kobe heads to the line for three shots to try and combat the three pointer just scored by the Bobcats. For a while, it looked like the Lakers were ready to make a game-changing run, but they’ve settled down in the past three minutes, allowing Charlotte to rebuild most of what was once a 19 point lead, now at 80-64.
10:44 After a well-deserved chorus of boos after botching a wide-open all-oop attempt in the previous possession, Luke redeems himself by banking an easy one off glass. After stopping the Bobcats on the ensuing trip down the floor, Benga nails a hook shot that lowers the lead to only eight points at 74-82.
9:17 Kobe returns to a loud applause, replacing Benga. The Lakers are now down just 76-82.
7:45 Sasha misses the first two, but after a tap-out by Jordan, he nails hi second try in about thirty seconds to bring the Lakers to within three points of the Bobcats, the closest they’ve been since the first half.
5:14 Sasha answers Carroll’s three pointer with one of his own, to bring the Lakers back within six of the Bobcats at 86-92. L.A. keeps chipping away at the lead, but Charlotte keeps answering with clutch buckets on their end. Point and case: after the Vujacic make, Richardson raced down the floor for a contested layup and a foul shot, which luckily for the Lakers, he missed.
3:40 Kobe picks up his second technical foul in a minute and is ejected from the game. Bryant was the Lakers’ leading scorer with 27 points.
2:42: With the Lakers down 102-88, Jackson calls a timeout as his team tries to pull off a miraculous rally against the Bobcats with under three minutes to go.
1:26 Odom makes a driving layup, but unfortunately for the Lakers, it’s too little, too late. After consecutive monster games in rebounds and points, Lamar’s come down to earth tonight, getting close to his average at 15 points and nine rebounds.
FINAL SCORE: Bobcats 108, Lakers 95