CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kobe Bryant scored a season-high 21 points and the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 88-85 for their first win since Bryant returned from a torn Achilles tendon four games ago.
Bryant was 8 of 15 from the field and hit two free throws with 37 seconds left in the game to put the Lakers ahead for good.
Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill had 15 points apiece for the Lakers and Nick Young had 13 points off the bench.
Kemba Walker had 24 points and eight assists for the slumping Bobcats, who have lost three straight games and five of their last seven.
The Bobcats led by as many as six in the fourth quarter, but the Lakers chipped away. Charlotte had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds but Ben Gordon missed a 3-pointer.