Lakers Lose Again To Bobcats, In Double Overtime

LOS ANGELES (AP) The Lakers have recorded impressive homecourt victories against the likes of Boston, Cleveland and San Antonio in the past month.

But they couldn't beat the Charlotte Bobcats.

Boris Diaw had 23 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, reserve Shannon Brown scored five of his 14 points in the second overtime, and the Bobcats continued their surprising recent domination of the Lakers by beating them 117-110 on Tuesday night.

The win was the Bobcats' fifth in their last six games against the Lakers, who got 38 points from Kobe Bryant before the Los Angeles star fouled out for the first time this season in the final minute of the first overtime.

"That was a heck of a win, it was a heck of a performance," Bobcats coach Larry Brown said. "Shannon had to play when Gerald (Wallace) got hurt, and he played great."

Wallace scored 15 points before leaving with 2:08 left in the fourth quarter after a flagrant foul by Andrew Bynum knocked him to the floor.

"I don't want to speculate, but at first they told me he might have broken ribs and then they talked about a collapsed lung," Brown said. "But they're taking him to the hospital, so we'll see. Hopefully, it's not serious."


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The Lakers entered having won four straight and 14 of their last 17 games. In addition, their 35-8 record was the NBA's best.

But it didn't matter against the Bobcats.

"I just think it was a terrific performance against a great team," Brown said. "I really don't know how to explain it because they are playing at such a high level."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he couldn't explain why the Bobcats have had the Lakers' number.

"You know, it's the way the roll of the dice goes, and this was one of those games," he said. "We were fortunate to get back in the game, they had to miss foul shots for us to get back in."

The Bobcats missed five free throws in the final 2:08 of the fourth quarter.

"Sometimes justice prevails, and I think that happened tonight," Jackson said.

Raymond Felton had 22 points, a career-high 11 rebounds and nine assists, Emeka Okafor had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Raja Bell added 17 points for the Bobcats.

Bryant had eight rebounds and five assists to go with his 38 points. Bynum added 24 points and 14 rebounds and Derek Fisher scored 14 for the Lakers (35-9), who lost for just the fourth time in 27 home games.

"It's always stops," Bryant said regarding the late-game difference. "We've just got to learn from our mistakes and not let it happen again."

Brown's 3-pointer with 2:14 remaining put the Bobcats on top 110-107, and they led the rest of the way. Okafor scored four points around a three-point play by Bynum and Felton added two foul shots with 25.2 seconds left, giving Charlotte (19-26) a 116-110 lead and clinching the victory.

The Lakers rallied from a seven-point deficit in the final 2¬Ω minutes to force the first overtime, and got two baskets from Bryant and another from Bynum to begin the first extra period to take a 99-93 lead with 2:55 left.

But the Bobcats came back, and a 3-pointer by Diaw with 32.2 seconds to play tied the game at 103. Bryant was out of the game at that stage, having fouled out with 39.8 seconds left after scoring eight points in the first overtime.

Neither team got a good shot off after that, forcing the second overtime.

Pau Gasol had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Lakers, but shot just 4-of-16.

"Pau probably had the worst night he's had as a Laker," Jackson said.

The Bobcats won for just the sixth time on the road against 13 losses.

"It was one of those games where Kobe had kind of taken over for them," Bell said. "So when you lose that engine, I think it was more of the fact that they just didn't have that go-to guy down the stretch. It definitely didn't hurt that Kobe wasn't around. But more than anything, we continued to do what we did."

"We didn't get too high with the highs or too low with the lows. We just kept plugging away. We gave it away for a while and them we were really resilient at times. So we just stayed the course."

Diaw scored seven points during a 9-0 run that gave the Bobcats a 90-83 lead before seven points by Bryant and a 3-pointer by Fisher with 14 seconds left in the fourth quarter tied the game at 93. Felton missed a 22-footer as time expired to force the first overtime.

Neither team led by more than four points in the third quarter until Charlotte scored six straight for a 70-63 lead with 3¬Ω minutes left in the period. The Bobcats led 76-70 entering the fourth quarter.

Lakers forward Trevor Ariza left with 4:52 left in the second quarter after sustaining a concussion and didn't return. He's not expected to miss any playing time.

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