Lakers 106, Bobcats 73: Jan. 31 Running Diary

Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Tuesday evening home contest against Charlotte, the Lakers looking for some momentum before a 6-game road trip, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:

Starters
Lakers: Fisher, Bryant, World Peace, Gasol and Bynum
Bobcats: K. Walker, M. Carroll, B. Diaw, D. Diop

FIRST QUARTER
2:53 A hanging jumper from Bryant had him off to a loud first period scoring wise, with 16 of L.A.’s 24 points coming from No. 24, on 6-of-9 field goals. He also continued his hot 3-point shooting from the Minnesota game (5-of-9), making his first two to rise above 30 percent from distance for the first time all season.

1:34 Sorry, make that 7-of-11 field goals, after another make had him off to a red hot 18-point quarter before Jason Kapono replaced him. Getting some additional rest in this game for the 16-year veteran who came in averaging the second most minutes in the league was likely a focus of Mike Brown’s, and an early 13-point cushion after suddenly super-sub Andrew Goudelock’s jumper.

SECOND QUARTER
7:00 As Bryant and Gasol got extended rest for the first time in several games, the bench pushed the lead up to 18 when Bynum scored on a pretty reverse layup. Rookie Goudelock, whose name Mike Brown still can’t pronounce, had added a triple, reaching seven quick bench points, continuing his recent production.

2:51 Did you know that the Bobcats are one of only two franchises in the history of the NBA with a winning record against the Lakers? Well … it’s true. Boston is the other, thanks to the 1960′s, but the ‘Cats hold an 8-6 edge over L.A. that will last at least until next year even if the Purple and Gold hold a 50-34 lead (22 points for Kobe, 12 for Bynum with seven boards) throughout, since L.A. does not travel to Charlotte this season.

0:00 The shooting discrepancy was considerable in the first half, L.A. converting an efficient 24-for-41 (58.5 percent), and Charlotte just 15-for-48 (31.3 percent), helping L.A. secure a considerably 60-36 edge. Kobe had 24, Bynum 14 with eight boards, and Gasol eight with five glass cleans.

THIRD QUARTER
6:33 One problem with a huge halftime lead against a weaker opponent is what seems like the inevitable let down in the second half, which we certainly saw here as Charlotte reeled off an 8-0 run to make it somewhat of a ball game. Gerald Henderson did most of the damage, scoring eight of his twelve in the period.

1:17 A little trash talking between Bryant and Henderson drew double techs, as L.A. held a 71-56 lead. It’s not uncommon in the least to see a team trailing by 20 points at half come out loosy goosy and free in the second half, but the game remained well in the home team’s control.

FOURTH QUARTER
7:21 A three-pointer by Jason Kapono was L.A.’s third of the quarter, from a different bench players (Murphy, Goudelock), which had the Lakers back up by 22 points at 86-64 after Charlotte had entered the quarter down 15 at 73-58. This was good news for the ice packs in L.A.’s locker room, which could be brought out to Kobe’s knees earlier.

2:59 L.A. was already at a season-high tying nine triples in the middle of the fourth before three more rainbows fell to put the team at 12-of-26 (46.2 percent) in the game, despite nine straight misses by Kobe. This was in fact the fourth straight game in which the Lakers shot the three pretty well, as should be expected with quality shooters like Bryant, Fisher, Murphy and Kapono.

2:42 The Lakers hit the 100-point mark with a Devin Ebanks tip in, Brown having cleared his bench minutes earlier. L.A. would cruise on to take a 106-73 victory out of Staples, scoring 30, 30, 13 and 33 points in respective quarters. The bench scored a season-high 48 points, nailing 10-of-14 three-pointers, including a perfect 4-of-4 from Troy Murphy, while Bryant’s 24 points held up despite his not scoring in the second half. He did, however, get to rest for a full fourth quarter for the first time in a long time, as did Gasol, both players staying under 30 minutes.

Up next, the Grammy trip, beginning on Friday night at Denver. We’ll be there.