Charlotte 108, L.A. Lakers 95

LOS ANGELES, March 26 (AP) -- Jason Richardson had 34 points and 10 rebounds, and the Charlotte Bobcats stunned the Los Angeles Lakers 108-95 on Wednesday night in a game where Kobe Bryant drew two technical fouls in a span of 29 seconds late in the fourth quarter and was ejected.

The loss dropped the Lakers (49-23) into a three-way tie for second place in the Western Conference with Houston and San Antonio. They trail the New Orleans Hornets by one game.

Matt Carroll added 18 points and Gerald Wallace had 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Bobcats (26-56), who won for just the second time in eight games and snapped a six-game road losing streak.

Raymond Felton added 13 points and 10 assists and Emeka Okafor had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Charlotte, which outrebounded the Lakers 52-40.

Bryant had 27 points and six rebounds before leaving with 3:40 left and the Bobcats leading 99-86. Lamar Odom had 18 points and nine rebounds, Ronnie Turiaf scored 12 and Sasha Vujacic and Luke Walton added 11 each for the Lakers.

Lakers center Pau Gasol missed his seventh straight game with a sprained left ankle. He said before the game he aggravated the injury earlier this week, and hopes to return by next Wednesday.

"I wouldn't be surprised if it's not until Wednesday that he plays again,'' Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "We're hopeful it's Sunday. We'll have to let time take its course.''

Richardson and Felton said before the game that they got sick earlier in the day after eating breakfast, but it didn't last long and both said they felt well enough to play.

"From what I understand, a few of the guys had something to eat and it disrupted their stomach,'' Bobcats coach Sam Vincent said. "We're trying to treat it as a non-issue.''

It was the Lakers who felt sick afterward.

The Lakers scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to move within four points, and a 3-pointer by Vujacic made it 84-81 with 7:45 remaining. But that's as close as the Lakers would get.

Carroll's four-point play capped a 16-5 run that made it 100-86 with 3:40 to play. That's when Bryant was kicked out.

Richardson scored five points and Wallace added a 3-pointer in an 8-2 run to start the second half, giving the Bobcats a 65-46 lead. Bryant scored the Lakers' first 15 points of the third quarter including five straight before a layup by Odom moved Los Angeles within eight points.

The Bobcats then outscored the Lakers 13-7 for an 82-68 lead entering the final period.

The Bobcats, coming off a 128-106 loss at Utah on Tuesday night, were clearly the better team in taking a 57-44 halftime lead. The Lakers drew within three points before Charlotte extended the lead to 13 in the final 52.3 seconds of the second period on 3-pointers by Carroll, Richardson and Felton and a foul shot by Richardson.

The Bobcats didn't commit a turnover while taking a 27-17 lead in the first 11 minutes. Then, they committed five in a span of less than two minutes, leading to eight straight Los Angeles points.

Notes: The Bobcats had won three straight over the Lakers before losing 106-97 in Charlotte last month. ... Odom entered having gotten at least 20 rebounds in two straight games, becoming the first Lakers player to accomplish that feat since Vlade Divac did it in 1995. Odom had 23 points and 21 rebounds Monday night in his team's 123-119 overtime victory at Golden State, becoming the first Laker to have a 20-20 game since Shaquille O'Neal did so in 2004, and the first non-center for the Lakers to accomplish the feat since Happy Hairston did it on Feb. 27, 1974. ... The Bobcats are 19-17 at home, but just 7-28 on the road. ... The game was the first of five straight at home for the Lakers, who play eight of their final 10 games at Staples Center including a designated road game against the Clippers.


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