Lakers dominate Bobcats in 106-73 win

Pat McMahon Contributor
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kobe Bryant scored 24 points, Andrew Bynum added 20, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat slumping Charlotte 106-73 Tuesday night, extending their home record to 11-2 and sending the Bobcats to their ninth consecutive defeat and 19th of the season.

Bynum had 11 rebounds, while Pau Gasol had 10 points and Andrew Goudelock keyed a big night for the bench with 12 points in the Lakers’ last home game before beginning their annual Grammy trip on Friday at Denver. The Lakers’ reserves outscored the Bobcats 48-30.

It was the Lakers’ biggest victory against the Bobcats, who had beaten Los Angeles in eight of their previous 11 meetings.

Gerald Henderson scored 14 points in his return after a two-game absence because of a lower back contusion for the Bobcats, who fell to 1-11 on the road and 3-19 overall. Derrick Brown added 12 points and Kemba Walker 12 coming off his triple-double against Washington on Saturday. Boris Diaw added 11.

The Bobcats were well-rested, not having played since that three-point loss, but that didn’t help the league’s worst team.

The rout was well under way in the first quarter, when Bryant racked up 18 points in 10½ minutes and the Lakers led 30-18. He had six more points in the second quarter and the Lakers went into halftime ahead, 60-36.

Bryant helped turn a five-point lead into 20 points in a 26-11 spurt over the end of the first quarter and start of the second with eight points, while Goudelock added seven and Bynum six. The Bobcats actually outscored Los Angeles in the third, 22-13, as Bryant went scoreless, but they still trailed 73-58.

With Bryant on the bench in the fourth, soon joined by Bynum, the Lakers’ reserves put on a 3-point shooting clinic. They reeled off seven consecutive treys to push their lead to 98-70. Troy Murphy had hit three 3s, Jason Kapono chipped in two, and Goudelock and Barnes had one each. Murphy finished with 12 points and Barnes 10.

Metta World Peace got his second straight start in place of Barnes, but he wasn’t a factor with two points, two rebounds, two assists and four fouls in 23 minutes.

Notes: Lakers coach Mike Brown said the team has inquired about Orlando G Gilbert Arenas, a free agent. “We’ve called to see what his status is. That’s it,” he said. Brown said there’s no plans to bring Arenas in for a workout. “I have not talked to him, I have not watched any tape on him. It’s really just conversation,” he said. … The Lakers’ previous biggest win against Charlotte was 11 points in January 2005. … Reserve Lakers G Steve Blake, out with broken cartilage in his ribs, has been cleared to run on a treadmill, but there’s no timetable for his return. … Asked about Blake Griffin’s dunk for the Clippers a night earlier, Brown said: “It was fantastic.”

Pat McMahon