NBA -- Lakers escape Bobcats' bite, 101-100
By Joan Secuya-Medida
Thu, 20 Dec 2012
SAN FRANCISCO -- In a thrilling game of back and forth, the Los Angeles Lakers came back from 18 points down to narrowly escape a 101-100 decision over the never-say-die Charlotte Bobcats Tuesday night at the Staples Center in L.A.
Trailing 40-29 midway through the second quarter, the Bobcats, behind the terrific shooting of Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson, went on a 49-20 run to take what seemed like a commanding 78-60 lead with 6:03 to go in the third quarter.
But the Lakers had other plans and answered with a scoring binge of their own to seize an 84-79 advantage that set the stage for the exciting finish. The relentless Bobcats had a golden opportunity to steal the game in the final 5.9 seconds, but all their three attempts missed the mark, including a Henderson lay-in that lipped out of the rim.
Kobe Bryant bailed the Lakers out with 30 points, six rebounds and seven assists. Dwight Howard had a monster night -- 16 points and 18 rebounds -- while Jodie Meeks and Metta World Peace, who surprisingly came off the bench, tallied 17 markers apiece.
In losing their 12th straight outing, the Bobcats (38-for-95) barely outshot the Lakers (35-for-88) from the field and both teams made ten threes. Charlotte won the rebounds department - 54-48 - but Los Angeles had more assists, 24-21.
Walker ended up with 28 for the Bobcats while ex-Laker Ramon Sessions chalked 20 points and six assists. Henderson logged 19 and 7-foot Byron Mullens added 13 and 17 rebounds.
Thanks to their third consecutive victory, the Lakers improved to a 12-14 record. Next up is a showdown against the surging 17-8 Golden State Warriors on December 22 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. (JSM)
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