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Bryant's season-high 21 points leads Lakers to 88-85 victory over Bobcats:

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The Los Angeles Lakers (11-12) knocked off the Charlotte Bobcats 88-85 and Kobe Bryant gets his first win since his return to the lineup just four games ago.

Bryant had his best statistical performance of the season with 21 points, seven rebounds and eight assists but his rhythm still seems a little ways off as he committed seven turnovers on the evening, bringing his total in that department to 25.

"I'm just trying to take what the defense gives me right now," Bryant said after the game "I definitely want to cut out the mental miscues and silly turnovers, it will come as we continue to gel as a team".

The Bobcats who played well for three quarters and most of the fourth saw their second ballgame in as many nights, slip right through their fingers in the final minutes. Charlotte fell to the Pacers 99-94 in Indiana on Friday night after failing to convert on an Al Jefferson hook shot that would have tied the game at 96.

With a 79-74 lead over the Lakers at the three minute mark, the Bobcats began to look a little tight down the stretch and the execution that they once exhibited had left them like an actor who forgot his lines or a husband who can't remember his anniversary.

After two Bryant free throws and a Nick Young three-pointer tied the ballgame Charlotte went into full-on two left feet square dancing. "We wanted to get the ball down low to Al (Jefferson) but they made it so hard to get the ball in to him" coach Steve Clifford said, "by the time he kicked it back out, the shot clock was too low to get a high percentage shot and that is something we will look to clean up".

Another strong performance at home by guard Kemba Walker (24 points and eight assists) couldn't prevent the Bobcats from dropping their third consecutive game taking them to 11-14 on the season.

Charlotte will now get ready to host the Sacramento Kings on Monday while the Lakers head to Atlanta to face the Hawks whom they defeated 105-103 back on November 3, at the Staples Center.


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