GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Charlotte Bobcats 19 16 22 27 84
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 29 16 24 23 92


Lakers end Bobcats' mastery, win 6th straight

By GREG BEACHAM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Kobe Bryant scored 27 points and the Los Angeles Lakers ended the Charlotte Bobcats' inexplicable mastery over them Friday night with a 92-84 victory, their sixth straight win since the All-Star break.

Pau Gasol had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Derek Fisher sprained his left elbow as the Lakers grinded out a shockingly rare victory over the NBA's youngest franchise.

The two-time defending champions had lost eight of their previous 10 meetings with Charlotte, the only team other than Boston with a winning record against the Lakers (8-6).

D.J. Augustin scored 22 points for the Bobcats, who have dropped the first three on a four-game West Coast road swing. Shaun Livingston added 12 points for Charlotte, which lost leading scorer Stephen Jackson to a strained left hamstring in the third quarter.

Fisher also went to the locker room in the third after bending his left arm awkwardly during a tussle for a rebound with Kwame Brown. The scrap left the Lakers' captain writhing on the floor in pain while the Staples Center crowd booed Brown, the loathed former Los Angeles center traded for Gasol three years ago.

Despite their road struggles and a dismal overall record, the Bobcats (26-35) are just one game behind eighth-place Indiana in the East standings.

Lamar Odom had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, and Andrew Bynum had season highs of 17 rebounds and six blocked shots, both just shy of his career highs.

Although Los Angeles couldn't manage a convincing win, Bryant and his teammates comfortably held off Charlotte throughout the second half in a marked change from their last meeting. The Bobcats trounced Los Angeles 109-89 in Charlotte on Feb. 14, embarrassing coach Phil Jackson and prompting Bryant to bolt from the arena without a word to the media.

The Lakers were calmly effective in their only home appearance during a 16-day stretch, with a key four-game road trip starting Sunday in San Antonio and extending through Miami and Dallas.

Jackson believes the trip will determine whether his club can compete with the Spurs and Mavericks for the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs. But the Lakers have been extremely sharp since hosting All-Star weekend last month, staying perfect since back-to-back losses to Orlando, Charlotte and Cleveland before the break.

The Lakers didn't appear intimidated by the Bobcats early on, making a 17-2 run in the first quarter to take a 13-point lead. Only Augustin kept Charlotte competitive, scoring 11 points in the opening period.

NOTES: Matt Barnes was scheduled to return to the Lakers' lineup after a 25-game absence following surgery on his right knee, but he irritated the knee during warmups and went back to the locker room. He could play Sunday. ... The Lakers made their first 15 free throws before Bynum missed with 3:48 left in the third quarter. ... Lakers rookie F Devin Ebanks is out for at least three weeks while recovering from a stress fracture in his leg. ... Fans near courtside included Roger Federer and Pete Sampras, who sat with superagent Ari Emanuel next to the Lakers' bench; Tom Petty, Jamie Kennedy and director Brett Ratner.


Copyright 2011 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited




2 Lakers who got banged up on Friday, as Matt Barnes aggravated the knee from which he was supposed to return before the game started, and Derek Fisher hurt his left elbow after being tied up with Charlotte's Kwame Brown late in the third quarter.

6 Straight wins for the Lakers out of the All-Star break.

17 Season high rebounds grabbed by Andrew Bynum, who had 13 at the half. He finished one point short (nine) of his third double-double in four games, though he did add another season high with six blocks.

39.5 Lakers' shooting percentage in the game, which was 0.4 percentage points higher than that of Charlotte, allowing L.A. a rare second straight victory while shooting under 40 percent.

93.0 The two teams' collective free throw shooting percentage, as the Lakers converted 19-of-21 from the stripe and Charlotte 9-of-9.




View More Photos


Points Bryant 27, 10-25 FG
Rebounds Bynum 17, 5 OFF 12 DEF
Assists Gasol, Odom 4
Steals Artest, Blake 2
Blocks Bynum 6


POSTGAME QUOTES


Lakers coach Phil Jackson on how they stayed in control of the game tonight:
"Defense, you know, defensively we stand pretty true…on blocked shots, on rebounds. We didn't shoot the ball much better than they did…very physical contest."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on Derek Fisher's elbow injury:
"Well, you saw the incident, it obviously is going to create some kind of trauma in his arm, elbow, maybe shoulder even. You know, we're concerned about it, we want to get him back and get him icing that arm as soon as possible so that he can be ready on Sunday."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on if Fisher will be able to play in Sunday's game against San Antonio:
"Yeah, I think he'll be ready. He's strong as an ox so he's got enough strength to probably hold him together."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on when Matt Barnes will start playing again:
"I don't know what to say about Matt. I don't know when he's going to be ready, or if. But that was one of those situations you just don't like seeing happen."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on what he liked in tonight's game:
"I didn't like any part of the game tonight. We weren't fluid, we didn't move the ball well, we came out with the attitude that we need to pound the ball into this team. A lot of it was about the physical aspect of the game, and on that realm it became kind of a physical contest rather than, you know, basketball moving, guys cutting…we got the job done and that's what's important."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on being concerned for Sunday's game against San Antonio:
"If we play Sunday like we did tonight, you know, we're not going to be in the contest, there's no doubt about that. They shoot the ball too well for that. But we find a way against that team, we find a way to play against them."






Lakers' center Andrew Bynum on how important the Lakers upcoming road trip is:
"It's very important for us to go out here and do what we need to do on this road trip and win these games. Fortunately, there are not back to backs, so we have a day to prepare for each one of them. So we really want to win these games, not just for the standings, but to send a message and let everybody know we're here and we're serious."



Lakers' Lamar Odom on the Lakers mindset going into the San Antonio game on Sunday:
"A game is a game. Right now it doesn't really matter who we're playing against…as far as the game is concerned, our focus is to get better and win. No matter who we're playing against, teams at the top, teams at the bottom, we're just going to go out there and play our "A" game, play D [defense], talk…walk away with the win."

Lakers' Lamar Odom on the four-game road trip coming up:
"We want to play well, stay focused, and do a good job. At this point of the year our main concern is to win games. We're going to go out there and just compete at a high level; have fun."





Lakers' Kobe Bryant on his performance tonight:
"We just had to be aggressive. I wanted to set the tone early. Just come out and be very very aggressive, let my teammates know that this is a game we are going to go after."

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on his team's attitude compared to last time they played the Bobcats
"We're playing much more aggressive basketball. We're attacking, we're getting after it at both ends of the court. That's a big difference."




Lakers' forward Matt Barnes on the aggravated nerve he suffered before the game:
"It was weird. I aggravate a nerve while I was stretching, so it had nothing to do with my knee. My knee is fine. I was just stretching before the game and aggravated a nerve. It kind of made my whole leg hot, then fuzzy, then it sort of hurt."

Lakers' forward Matt Barnes on if the aggravated nerve made him nervous:
"Yeah, because I didn't know what it was. I thought maybe I could have torn some cartilage or something weird like that. But the doctors came in and checked it out and said it was a nerve. It's day to day."

Lakers' forward Matt Barnes on his frustration over not being able to play tonight:
"It was very frustrating. I was so excited to play tonight. I went out there and tried to get it going during warm-ups, but it just didn't feel right, so better safe than sorry."




Bobcats coach Paul Silas on what was different in this game against the Lakers from the last time they played:
"Well, a big difference was we didn't have Gerald Wallace. If we would have had him, we would've been better. But they were good, that's a great team. They were ready for us, Kobe was ready. I think we did as good a job as we could on him. We played as well as we could, but we just didn't have enough for them tonight."

Bobcats coach Paul Silas on his team fighting for the win until the end of the game:
"I thought it was much, much better having played a horrible game in Denver. Tonight the guys really battled hard, we just didn't have enough. Jack [Stephen Jackson] is not healthy, and that's a big problem with us. When he's healthy, at least we can get some points on the board. I just didn't think that we had enough to get points out there. But we battled."

Bobcats coach Paul Silas on his team's defensive effort and the contested shots:
"They did [contested shots in] the second half. The first half I didn't think we did it as well. I thought we contested shots the first half, [but the] second half not as well. But it takes time for the players to get there. We're really just stressing this now, but when you do, guys tend to miss shots. We just didn't do it enough."

Bobcats coach Paul Silas on Stephen Jackson playing tonight and aggravating his hamstring:
"I think if that hamstring was well...he really shouldn't have played. He said he was OK, but he's going to have to sit out until that thing gets better and then we'll be able to play him. But we just can't do it with the way it is now."





Bobcats' Forward Stephen Jackson on his aggravated hamstring:
"Just trying to find a way to get loose and get in the game and get it going but it ain't getting no better right now. I keep aggravating it so I'm going to have to talk to my trainer to see what we need to do so I can get better."

Bobcats' Forward Stephen Jackson on potentially missing some games to heal his hamstring:
"I'm forcing myself, I'm not helping it. It's tough because I want to play and I don't want to be sitting down considering we're right there for the playoffs, so it's going to be tough I just have to try to do rehab and get back as soon as I can."

Bobcats' Forward Stephen Jackson on Kobe Bryant's performance:
"Kobe's great, man. I think Gerald Henderson did a great job of competing and keeping his composure and finding a way to stay in the game but Kobe's great. Like the second half of the season he's been turning it up."




Aaron BrooksBobcats' Guard D.J. Augustin on losing tonight's game:
"It's tough [to lose]. We lost tonight so our only goal now is to win our next game, in Portland, and that's what we have our eye on right now."

Bobcats' Guard D.J. Augustin on what it will take for the Bobcats to make the playoffs:
"[We need to] just stay together and keep playing hard every night. We always have a chance to win so as long as we do those two things and hopefully [Stephen Jackson] gets better and comes back and helps us."

Bobcats' Guard D.J. Augustin on this being a revenge game for the Lakers:
"Any team if you beat them by a lot the next time they're going to try and beat you especially at home."





Aaron BrooksBobcats' Center Kwame Brown on getting tangled up with Derek Fisher:
"[Derek Fisher] stuck his hands in when I was trying to go up it was just a play that happened. IT was nothing big or malicious. He got his hand caught it was nothing. Fish is going to be fine he's a big boy. He'll be fine."

Bobcats' Center Kwame Brown on this being a revenge game for the Lakers:
"They didn't beat us like we beat them so it doesn't make a difference. I mean, we're not the same team as we was when we beat them in Charlotte so they're a good team, they're the defending champions we just need to come out and play harder the next time."












LAKERS VS. BOBCATS GAME PREVIEW

By NOEY KUPCHAN, STATS Writer

An upcoming four-game road trip would certainly put the Los Angeles Lakers' undefeated record since the All-Star break at risk.

However, they can't overlook a home game with a sub-.500 team which has given them fits.

Seeking a sixth consecutive win overall, Los Angeles will look to avenge last month's embarrassing defeat to the Charlotte Bobcats and avoid a ninth loss in 11 games in the series Friday night.

The Lakers (43-19) have won five in a row since All-Star weekend - Dallas is the only other unbeaten team since the break (4-0) - after entering it having lost three straight. That skid included a 109-89 defeat at Charlotte on Feb. 14, their most lopsided loss of the season.

While Kobe Bryant is averaging 29.8 points against the Bobcats (26-34) - his highest mark against any opponent - his individual numbers haven't translated into much team success.

"I don't know what it is about the Lakers, but the last eight out of 10 games our team has beaten the Lakers and that's pretty special," Charlotte coach Paul Silas said.

The Bobcats, though, have undergone some major changes since that Feb. 14 win, most notably sending swingman Gerald Wallace to Portland forJoel Przybilla, Sean Marks, Dante Cunningham and two first-round picks before the trade deadline.

The Lakers' only two wins in the last 10 meetings both came with Wallace sidelined by injury.

Charlotte was able to pull out a victory in its first contest without Wallace but has since suffered ugly back-to-back losses, including a 120-80 defeat at Denver on Wednesday night - the biggest loss in franchise history.

"We just can't get on the same page and we are not trusting each other," forward Stephen Jackson told the Bobcats' official website. "We are still trying to put this new team together but rotation and being on the same page should be automatic. When we don't trust each other and are not on the same page then we get beat by 40."

Even if the Lakers avenge their ugly loss to Charlotte, they will have a tough time keeping their win streak going after that. They begin a four-game trek Sunday against league-best San Antonio before visiting Atlanta, Miami and Dallas. Los Angeles is a combined 1-4 against those teams.

Los Angeles, though, has been playing excellent defense lately, holding opponents to 88.4 points per game during its win streak - 7.4 below its season average - and 41.3 percent from the field.

The Lakers rank in the top 10 in the league with 102.0 points per game but couldn't get much going offensively Tuesday night as defense keyed another win, 90-79 at Minnesota.

Coach Phil Jackson's team recorded its second-worst shooting percentage of the season (37.5) but allowed its second-lowest point total of 2010-11 and outrebounded the Timberwolves 53-39.

Pau Gasol registered his sixth double-double in seven games with 12 points and 17 rebounds.

"That's why we've been able to win back-to-back championships because we have a great team," said Bryant, who scored 24 points. "Pieces complement each other extremely well. That's the trick, that's the key. Management has done a great job."

The Bobcats haven't had the same kind of chemistry since Wallace's departure, averaging 83.0 points on 38.4 percent shooting in the last two games. They've lost three straight and six of eight on the road, though they're within one game of Indiana for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Jackson averaged 32.5 points in the first two games after Wallace was traded before being held to seven points on 3-for-10 shooting Wednesday. He also shot 3 of 10 - for nine points - last month against the Lakers, but his teammates hit a combined 54.2 percent.



Copyright 2011 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited




Lakers Matt Barnes (right knee surgery) is TBD.
Theo Ratliff
(left knee surgery) is out.

DeSagana Diop (ruptured right achilles tendon) is out.
Tyrus Thomas
(torn meniscus, left knee) is out.



2/14 - LAL @ CHA L 89-109
3/04 - CHA @ LAL


Our loss at Charlotte on Valentine's Day was an embarrassment on many levels. We did a very poor job of executing our offense. One of the core principles of the triangle offensive system is that the man with the ball should hit the first open man he sees (assuming he doesn't have an immediate open shot/move). We clearly didn't move the ball the way we should have in that game. We did a poor job of getting the ball inside and utilizing our size advantage. These are things we can definitely improve upon in tonight's game. On the defensive end we got away from our core principles also. We weren't in a position to help and we allowed too much middle penetration.

Read Full Scouting Report @ Lakers Courtside Connection


GAME NOTES

SEASON& SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers trail their season series with Charlotte 0-1 after splitting last season's series 1-1 and losing the 2008-09 series with the Bobcats 0-2. The two teams have met 13 times in all with the Lakers trailing the all-time series 5-8. The Bobcats are one of only two teams in the NBA that the Lakers have a .500 or losing record against (Boston) all-time. At STAPLES Center, the Lakers are 3-3 all-time against the Bobcats while in Charlotte, Los Angeles has gone 2-5 overall. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 3-8 against Charlotte. In their first meeting last season at STAPLES Center, the Lakers defeated the Bobcats 99-97, snapping a 3-game home and overall losing streak to Charlotte. In their last two meetings, the Lakers scored a series low 83 points and lost by a then series worst 15 points 3/5/10 and followed that up this season with a series worst 20-point defeat (89-109) 2/14/11 at Charlotte. In 2008-09, the Bobcats defeated the Lakers 110-117 in double-overtime at STAPLES Center, marking the third OT contest (2nd multi-overtime game) between the two teams in the brief history of the series. In 2006-07, the Lakers lost on the road to the Bobcats 124-133 in triple overtime to conclude a six-game road trip. It was the Lakers third ever triple-overtime game in the Los Angeles era and the team's longest game since a four-overtime contest in January of 1980 at Cleveland. In 12 career games against Charlotte, Kobe Bryant is averaging 29.8 points, his highest career average against any team in the league. His high game against the Bobcats was 58 points in the triple-overtime contest 12/29/06. On February 7, the Lakers acquired Shannon Brown, along with Adam Morrison, from Charlotte in exchange for Vladimir Radmanovic. Additionally, Bobcats owner Michael Jordan won six NBA Championships with the Chicago Bulls under current Lakers head coach Phil Jackson. Bobcats center Kwame Brown played 136 games for the Lakers from 2005- 08, averaging 7.4 points and 6.2 rebounds, before being included in a trade that brought Pau Gasol from Memphis to the Lakers.

BRYANT 65 POINTS SHY OF MOSES MALONE FOR 6th ON NBA'S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
Less than a week removed from passing Elvin Hayes (27,313) for 7th on the NBA's all-time scoring list 2/27 at Oklahoma City, Kobe Bryant (27,344) now stands 65 points shy of Moses Malone (6th/27,409) on the all-time list. Earlier this season, Bryant moved past Hall-of-Famers Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) 1/28 vs. Sacramento, Oscar Robertson (26,710) 1/7 vs. New Orleans, Dominique Wilkins (26,668) 1/4 vs. Detroit and John Havlicek (26,395) 12/10 at Chicago on the all-time list. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant and Malone (6th/27,409) are Shaquille O'Neal (5th/28,590), Wilt Chamberlain (4th/31,419) and Michael Jordan (3rd/32,292). Among the top seven scorers in NBA history, five have worn the Lakers uniform (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1st), Karl Malone (2nd), Chamberlain (4th), O'Neal (5th) and Bryant (7th)).

Bryant has been steadily moving up the list over the past few years. Earlier this season, with 23 points at Chicago (12/10/10), he passed John Havlicek (26,395) for 11th. Last season, he passed Alex English (25,613), Reggie Miller (25,279), Jerry West (25,192), Patrick Ewing (24,815) and Allen Iverson (24,368). In passing West with a slam dunk at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter February 1, 2010 at Memphis, finishing the game with 44 points (West's retired number), Bryant became the leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. In 2008-09, Bryant passed Gary Payton (21,813) and Hall-of-Famers Charles Barkley (23,757), Robert Parish (23,334), Adrian Dantley (23,177), Elgin Baylor (23,149), Clyde Drexler (22,195) and Larry Bird (21,791).

SCORING CONSISTENCY
Kobe Bryant's 24 points in the Lakers victory over the Clippers (2/25) took him over the 1,500-point mark for the 11th consecutive season, marking the longest such streak by an NBA player since Karl Malone reached that milestone in 12 straight seasons (1986-87 to 1997-98).*

BRYANT EARNS RECORD 4TH ALL-STAR GAME MVP
On February 21st, Kobe Bryant was named MVP of the 60th NBA All-Star Game at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. With a game-high 37 points, game-high 14 rebounds, three assists and three steals, Bryant's MVP performance tied him with Bob Pettit (4) for the most NBA All-Star Game MVP awards in league history, surpassing Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal and Oscar Robertson (3). In earning the honor, Bryant became the 7th player in the last 44 years to be named MVP of an All-Star game that was played in his own home arena, joining Jerry West (1972, Great Western Forum), Michael Jordan (1988, Chicago Stadium), Karl Malone & John Stockton (co-MVPs in 1993, Delta Center) and Shaquille O'Neal, who did it twice (2004, STAPLES Center & 2009, US Airways Center). Bryant's 37 points were tied for the 4th most points scored in All-Star Game history with Kevin Garnett (2003), trailing only Wilt Chamberlain (42 points, 1962), Jordan (40 points, 1988) and Rick Barry (38 points, 1967).

Additionally, Bryant's 37-point night and Kevin Durant's 34-point effort marked just the second time that two All-Stars on the same team scored 30-or-more points in the same game. The only other time that happened was in the 1977 game when Julius Erving and Bob McAdoo each scored 30 points for the Eastern Conference. Also, Bryant and Tim Duncan appeared on the same side in an All-Star game for the 12th time on Sunday night, marking the most appearances in an All-Star game as teammates for any two players in NBA history, surpassing Dolph Schayes and Bob Cousy (11 All-Star appearances as teammates).*

STRONG ALL-STAR SHOWING FOR GASOL
With an All-Star Game career-high 17 points (8-13 FG), seven rebounds and two blocks, Pau Gasol helped the West hang on down the stretch for a 148-143 victory over the East in the 60th NBA All-Star Game at STAPLES Center. Logging the most minutes of any Eastern or Western Conference reserve (24:22), Gasol posted the game's second highest plus/minus with +10, equaling Atlanta guard Joe Johnson's +10 and one behind Denver forward Carmelo Anthony's +11 on the night.

IRON MAN
Entering the Lakers game against Charlotte, Derek Fisher has played in 475 consecutive regular season games dating back to April 15, 2005, the longest consecutive games streak among all active NBA players. Fisher moved into the top position after Portland's Andre Miller (632) missed the Blazers game against Phoenix (12/7/10) due to NBA suspension. Additionally, Fisher has started 353 consecutive regular season games dating back to January 15, 2007, tops among all active players by more than a season's worth of games (2nd – Luis Scola). Former Laker A.C. Green holds the NBA record for most consecutive games played with 1,192 dating from 11/19/86 – 4/18/01 while a member of the Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.

GASOL'S 30/20
With 30 points (8-15 FG, 14-14 FT) and 20 rebounds February 16th at Cleveland, Pau Gasol posted the first 30-point/20-rebound game of his career while becoming the 10th Laker in franchise history ever to do so, joining Shaquille O'Neal (10), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19), Happy Hairston (1), Wilt Chamberlain (21), Rudy LaRusso (1), Elgin Baylor (77), Larry Foust (1), Clyde Lovellette (1) and George Mikan (10) in the 30/20 club (number in parentheses is with Lakers only). The last Laker to record a 30/20 game prior to Gasol was Shaquille O'Neal, who posted 31 points and 26 rebounds in an overtime victory over Milwaukee on March 21st, 2004.






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