The Lakers were embarrassed by the Bobcats 108-95, falling behind by 19 at one point and never recovering. While the loss certainly hurts the Lakers chances of gaining the number one seed in the Western Conference, equally concerning are the two technical fouls picked up by Kobe in the final stretch of the fourth quarter. Bryant is now only one technical away (15) from being forced to serve a league-mandated one-game suspension. Kobe left the game as the Lakers’ leading scorer with 27 points, but shot only 8-22 from the floor.
Coach Jackson was quiet after the game, only saying, “Well I may look like I’m here to explain something, but I have nothing to explain. I can’t explain it, so don’t ask me any questions. It just looked like we were out of character, tremendously out of character, in more ways than one, irrational play at times, inconsistent at best, but some just poor judgments, poor decisions.”
Jason Richardson scored a game-high 34 points for the Bobcats, while also managing to pull down 10 boards. Gerald Wallace also had a great all-around game for Charlotte, tallying 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Lamar Odom continued his string of strong performances for the Lakers, grabbing nine rebounds to go along with 18 points on 7-10 shooting. As a team, the Bobcats outshot the Lakers 50% to 41%.