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Bobcats continue mastery of Lakers, 109-89

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bobcats-lakers-nba_0.jpg By The Associated Press
February 14, 2011

Charlotte, NC (AP) — Gerald Wallace had 20 points and 11 rebounds and the Charlotte Bobcats routed the Los Angeles Lakers 109-89 on Monday night to extend one of the more bizarre one-sided matchups in the NBA.

Gerald Henderson added 18 points for the Bobcats, who have won eight of the past 10 meetings with the defending NBA champions.

The Lakers have a winning record against every team except the Boston Celtics - and the Bobcats. And this time it wasn't even close.

While Kobe Bryant scored 20 points, he missed 11 of his first 16 shots as he played despite an illness that kept him from shootaround.

Angry Lakers coach Phil Jackson used all but one full timeout before the fourth quarter, but couldn't prevent the Lakers from their most lopsided loss of the season Los Angeles started its extended road trip with four straight wins. But following an ugly loss in Orlando on Sunday, the Lakers looked even worse.

They shot 44 percent from the field and missed 16 of 19 3-point shots. They forced only eight turnovers and were outrebounded by five.

After the Bobcats took a 78-60 lead on Wallace's 3-pointer to beat the third-quarter buzzer, things got ugly quickly for the Lakers in the fourth.

Bryant picked up two quick fouls, giving him five and helping the Bobcats reach the penalty with 10:51 left. It appeared Jackson tried to teach his starters a lesson, keeping them in the game until midway through the fourth quarter as Charlotte's lead ballooned with reserves Henderson and Nazr Mohammed (16 points) leading the charge.

The Bobcats completed an unusual eight-day stretch in which they also beat Eastern Conference heavyweights Boston and Atlanta and lost to unheralded Indiana and New Jersey as they try to secure the final playoff spot in the East.

History should have predicted this one.

After losing the first three meetings with the Lakers after entering the league in 2004, the Bobcats have lost to the Lakers only twice. It doesn't seem to matter Charlotte has had four coaches during that stretch and overhauled its roster several times.

Using athletic, quick lineups, the Bobcats neutralized the Lakers inside and frustrated Bryant on the perimeter.

Bryant missed the midday shootaround because he was feeling ill. But he arrived on the early bus and went through a rigorous shooting session before declaring himself fit to play.

Bryant missed nine of 13 shots, including two airballs, in a miserable first half for the Lakers. They committed 10 turnovers, missed six of seven 3-pointers and trailed by as many as 11 points.

Jackson called a timeout with just over a minute before halftime before the Lakers went on a 5-0 run to close within 49-43 at halftime.

But the Bobcats took control in the third quarter and shot 51 percent for the game despite their own concerns going in.

D.J. Augustin missed shootaround with a sprained left wrist and coach Paul Silas declared him out for the game. But Augustin taped his wrist about 2 hours before tipoff, tested it out before the game and said he was OK to play. He had seven points and nine assists.

Silas said forward Boris Diaw wouldn't start after he overslept and missed shootaround but he changed his mind and Diaw had 16 points.

It marked another loss for Jackson against the Michael Jordan-owned Bobcats. Jordan, who won six titles as a player under Jackson in Chicago, watched the game from a suite instead of his customary courtside seat.

Notes: The Lakers' previous worst loss was 104-85 to Memphis. ... Jackson, in his final season with the Lakers, indicated he wouldn't be interested in a job working for Jordan or any other team. Asked about Jordan's challenges as an owner, Jackson said: "This franchise, financially, has to get grounded and build an audience and become a stable thing in this community." ... The Lakers' Derek Fisher extended the NBA's longest active consecutive games played streak to 469. Diaw extended the third-longest to 322. ... The Lakers announced a 20-year deal that will shift their locally televised games to newly formed English and Spanish sports networks operated by Time Warner Cable beginning in 2012-13.

NBA News Archive:
2011, 2010, 2009

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