Byron Mullens and Gerald Henderson scored 20 points apiece and both finished with a double-double but the Bobcats could not hang on in a 100-93 loss to the Lakers on February 8 at Time Warner Cable Arena®. The Cats held Kobe Bryant scoreless in the first half and built a 20-point lead in the third quarter before Bryan led the Lakers comeback.
The Bobcats jumped out early in this one and held a 30-20 advantage after the first quarter. The Cats continued to build the margin in the second and third frames, eventually taking a 20-point lead on a pair of Kemba Walker free throws in the third. From that point, the Lakers went on a 18-7 run to end the third and outscored the Cats, 31-15, in the decisive final frame. The Lakers took their first lead, 84-83, with 4:46 to play, but the Cats still put up a fight towards the end… Ramon Sessions scored on a fast break layup to take a 91-89 lead with 3:18 to play, but Jodie Meeks answered with a 3-pointer and Kobe Bryant scored the final eight points for the Lakers to close things out.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Charlotte recorded a season-high 30 assists on 38 made baskets while distributing the ball with ease… The Bobcats played some of their best basketball in the first half, but ended up getting outscored in the second half, 59-40… The Cats shot 42.7 percent for the game compared to the Lakers 45.0 percent… With Byron Mullens and Michael-Kidd Gilchrist back in the line up, the Bobcats seemed to compete better in the paint, tying the Lakers in rebounds (46-46) and scoring more points in the paint (50-48). Some of the baskets in the lane came from the 24 fast-break points the Cats had, while only allowing the Lakers 11 points in the open court… The Bobcats took care of the ball, only committing three turnovers in the first half and 11 on the game while forcing 13 Lakers miscues.
BOBCATS PLAYERS OF THE GAME
In his first start since returning from a sprained ankle, Byron Mullens stepped up huge for the Cats notching his sixth double-double of the season. Mullens finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds to go with one block, one steal and one assist.
Gerald Henderson had the hot hand for the Bobcats, scoring 20 points on 8-for-17 shooting. He pulled down 10 rebounds to give him his first double-double of the season. Henderson also contributed by dishing out three assists, grabbing three steals and turning away one shot.
LAKERS PLAYER OF THE GAME
After being held scoreless in the first half, Kobe Bryant scored 14 of his team-high 20 points in the fourth quarter to give the Lakers the advantage. Bryant also had eight assists, seven rebounds and a block.
INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM
"They just figured out what we were doing right there at the end. They are a smart team. They figured out late what we were doing and they came through at the end."
- Bobcats forward Byron Mullens on the game
"I liked the effort all the way around. It was a hell of a basketball game, and I know you want your return as a win but our team is ever-improving as we’re going down this tough journey. There’s no doubt about it. We’re playing a good brand of basketball. You’re playing against the best closer in the NBA in Kobe Bryant, albeit that he got 20 points in the second half, but still we sat on him, played him great and that can’t be wiped away. We couldn’t have given a better physical and mental effort tonight in many ways."
- Bobcats Head Coach Mike Dunlap on tonight's game
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist started in his first game back from a concussion, finishing with 10 rebounds to go with four points, two assists, two steals and a block… Kemba Walker was big for the Cats with 18 points, including 3-for-4 from beyond the arc. Walker had a team-high eight assists, two steals, one rebound and one block while only turning the ball over once… Ramon Sessions finished with 12 points, seven assists and two rebounds with zero turnovers… Ben Gordon had a season-high in assists with seven to go along with nine points… Bismack Biyombo also finished in double-digit rebounding, pulling down 10 boards to go with eight points on 4-for-5 shooting. Biyombo also had two assists and a steal.
The Bobcats have a quick turnaround when they travel to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers at 8:00 p.m. on February 9. Then make sure you come out to support the Cats as they return home to face off against the Celtics at 7:00 p.m. on February 11 in Time Warner Cable Arena®. You can watch both games on SportSouth or listen on WFNZ. Go to bobcats.com or download the Bobcats app on your smartphone to follow the live in-game chat.