It all came down to the last possession for the Cats on December 18 in Los Angeles but Charlotte could not get the game-winner to fall in a 101-100 loss to the Lakers. Kemba Walker scored a team-high 28 points and Byron Mullens notched a double-double with 13 points and a career-high 17 rebounds in the start of what could be a Wild West four-game trip.
This one was a classic game of runs, with both teams holding double-digit leads and different points in the contest… The Lakers starting things off with an 17-4 run starting at the end of the first quarter and continuing into the second as they took a 40-29 lead … Los Angeles held a 46-37 lead when the Cats took over, rattling off a 21-7 run behind eight points from Ramon Sessions, seven from Kemba Walker and five from Gerald Henderson to take a 58-53 lead at the break… Charlotte kept rolling to start the third, pushing the lead to 78-60 and brining out the boo birds at Staples Center… The lead wouldn’t last; however, as the Lakers put together a 17-0 run to take a 90-84 advantage on their home court… Not to be outdone, the Bobcats responded with an 11-5 push to tie it, 95-95… Neither team would hold more than a four-point advantage the rest of the way, and Charlotte had a chance to hit a game-winner in the final moments. Kemba Walker had the first crack at it but was blocked by Dwight Howard at the rim after getting past Kobe Bryant. Gerald Henderson tracked down the rebound, but his left-handed layup rolled around the cylinder and off the front of the rim. Byron Mullens got his hands on the rebound but had it knocked away as he went up inside, but the ball found its way into Ben Gordon’s hands about two feet outside the top of the arc. Gordon’s desperation heave was too strong as time expired in a hard-fought contest.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Statistically, this game went the Bobcats way. They outshot Los Angeles 40.0 percent to 39.8 percent from the field and 41.7 percent to 32.3 percent from long range (including 10 treys from both teams), outrebounded the Lakers 54-48 and forced 11 turnovers to 10, leading to a 18-8 advantage on the fast break… Los Angeles was more efficient turning Bobcats miscues into points, outscoring the Cats 22-10 off turnovers.
BOBCATS PLAYER OF THE GAME
After scoring a career-best 32 points in the Cats last game out, Kemba Walker followed up with an impressive performance on the road. He scored a team-high 28 points and added seven assists, five rebounds and three steals with just one turnover.
BOBCATS TOP RESERVE
Ramon Sessions put together his second-straight strong outing off the bench for Charlotte. He led the reserves with 20 points while dishing out six assists and grabbing four rebounds in 26 minutes.
LAKERS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 30 points, including the Lakers last four points to turn a 97-97 tie into a 101-97 advantage. He added a team-high seven assists to go with six rebounds.
INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM
"We need to just keep building. We’re a young team and we just got to learn from each game and hopefully we picked up something from this game. You just continue to play hard, we got Phoenix tomorrow and we’re just looking to get a win really."
- Bobcats Guard Ramon Sessions on what the team will take from tonight’s game
"He’s our leading rebounder and he has the ability to do that. I think people get disappointed in him on nights he doesn’t do it but his arrow is pointing in the right direction, as are a lot of our young guys, and Ramon Sessions had a heck of a game tonight. He really helped Kemba (Walker) out and vice versa."
- Bobcats Head Coach Mike Dunlap on Byron Mullens’ performance
Two Bobcats – Kemba Walker (28 points) and Ramon Sessions (20) – finished with 20+ points, while Gerald Henderson (19) and Byron Mullens (13) also finished in double digits… Charlotte had to players haul in double-digit rebounds led by Mullens’ career-best 17 boards. Bismack Biyombo added 11 rebounds to go with eight points, and Henderson nearly recorded a double-double with nine boards… Henderson had the highlight of the game and the No. 1 top play on ESPN’s Top 10 Plays of the Day with a one-handed jam over Dwight Howard that cut Los Angles’ lead to 92-89 following the and-one make… Mullens also tied a career high with five assists… Charlotte’s 58 points in the first half were the most it has scored in the first half this season.
The Bobcats head to Phoenix for their second game of a four-game West Coast trip spanning five days and will tip off at 9 p.m. on December 19 against the Suns. Watch the game on SportSouth or listen on WFNZ. Follow the live in-game chat at bobcats.com or download the app on your smartphone.