<
>

Kobe nets 27 as Lakers defeat Bobcats

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Kobe Bryant scored 27 points and Chris Mihm
got seven of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, leading the Los
Angeles Lakers to a 109-93 exhibition victory over the Charlotte
Bobcats on Friday night.

Matt Carroll scored 21 points off the bench for the Bobcats, who
were missing Emeka Okafor with back spasms, Gerald Wallace because
of a sore right wrist and Raymond Felton due to a sore left wrist.
Brevin Knight had 14 points and nine assists for Charlotte.

Neither team led by more than three points over the last 9:18 of
the third quarter. The Bobcats were held scoreless over the first
5:45 of the fourth, missing seven shots during that stretch and
committing three of their 19 turnovers.

The Lakers pulled away with a pair of three-point plays by Chris
Mihm 21 seconds apart, taking a 93-82 lead with 6:27 to play. Jake
Voskuhl and Melvin Ely each fouled out on the layups by Mihm, and
Los Angeles scored nine straight points for a 102-84 lead after
Bernard Robinson's dunk ended Charlotte's scoring drought.

Lakers forward Lamar Odom played 23 minutes, going 0-for-6 from
the field. He got his first assist of the game in the third quarter
on an alley-oop feed converted by Kwame Brown, whose slam dunk gave
the Lakers a 67-64 lead with 7:35 left in the period.

Bryant, who scored 21 fourth-quarter points and hit a
game-winning jumper in the final second the last time the teams met
on March 12 at Charlotte, N.C., matched that total in the first
half. But the Bobcats led 58-54 at intermission with 12 points each
from Carroll and Knight.