Kobe Bryant scored 20 points in the second half as the Los Angeles Lakers completed a compelling comeback to beat the Bobcats in Charlotte. At one point in the third quarter, the Bobcats led by 20 points.
The season was on life support after Thursday’s Boston blowout, and it nearly flat-lined in the third quarter on Friday. Kobe Bryant, however, would not allow the Lakers to die.
He only had four points when the Lakers hit the unimaginable low-point of trailing the worst team in the NBA by 20 points. The Mamba would go on to score another 16 points during the final 18 minutes of the ball game. The Lakers would not only erase a 20-point second-half deficit; they would win by seven—100 to 93.
"It kept us alive," Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni said about Friday’s win. "Now we live to fight another day."
In the fourth quarter, Bryant scored 14 points on 4-7 shooting from the field and a perfect 6-6 from the foul line down the stretch to lead the offense.
Six Lakers scored in double digits for the Lakers, and the scoring was balanced all game long, even if it was not exactly fluid in the first half. All five starters finished with double digits in points.
Off the Bench, Jodie Meeks was 4-4 from behind the arc for 14 points, and Antawn Jamison scored eight points on five shots in the final 24 minutes.
All that offense would have amounted to nothing meaningful if the Lakers had not been able to stop the Bobcats.
Defensively, the Lakers played desperate and held the Bobcats to 15 points and only one offensive rebound in the fourth quarter.
Dwight Howard recorded two of his three block shots in the second half, and the Lakers’ defensive energy forced the Bobcats into seven second-half turnovers. Beyond statistics, the Lakers exuded confidence and energy with activity on the inside and on the perimeter.
The Lakers are now guaranteed a winning road trip, but they need to do more than win four of every seven games if they want to make a true push for the playoffs. The Lakers need to win difficult games against good teams on the road.
Like Miami? Like Miami.
The Lakers play Lebron James and the Miami Heat on Sunday.