Kobe Bryant shrugged off a scoreless first half to finish with 20 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds and the Lakers overcome a 20-point second-half deficit to beat the Bobcats, 100-93, Friday night at Charlotte, N.C.
The Lakers avoided a costly defeat to the NBA’s worst team and pulled within three games of .500.
Bryant attempted only two shots in the first half and didn’t bother coming out for warm-ups to start the second half.
But he provided the jolt the Lakers needed in the third quarter and scored 14 points in the final period, including a driving layup with 40 seconds left to push the lead to 5.
Steve Nash and Earl Clark each had 17 points and Dwight Howard had 12 points, all in the first half, and 11 rebounds for the Lakers (24-27).
Byron Mullens and Gerald Henderson each had 20 points for the Bobcats, who have lost six straight.
Wizards 89, Nets 74 — Washington held Brooklyn without a field goal for nearly 9 minutes during the first half, survived a second-half slump, and held on in its latest win over a team near the top of the standings.
Nene had 20 points and 11 rebounds, John Wall added 15 points and nine assists, and Martell Webster scored 16 points for the Wizards, who have one of the worst records in the NBA but have nevertheless taken eight of their last nine at home — a stretch that includes wins over Oklahoma City, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and the Clippers.
Deron Williams scored 20 points for the Nets, who lost to a sub-.500 team for only the second time this season. They fell apart quickly: After a first quarter that included 10 lead changes, Brooklyn went 0 for 12 from the field to start the second and trailed 51-31 at halftime.
Pistons 119, Spurs 109 — Greg Monroe had 26 points and 16 rebounds, and host Detroit snapped shorthanded San Antonio’s 11-game winning streak.
San Antonio played without Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, and the Pistons led by as many as 21 points in the second quarter. It was 65-52 at halftime, and although the Spurs cut the deficit to seven in the fourth, they fell short against a Detroit team that equaled its highest score of the season. Tony Parker scored 31 points for San Antonio. Brandon Knight had 24 for the Pistons, and Charlie Villanueva scored 21.
Hornets 111, Hawks 100 — Greivis Vasquez had his first career triple-double and Eric Gordon scored 27 points, leading New Orleans to a rare winning streak.
Vasquez scored 21 points, dished out 12 assists, and grabbed 11 rebounds for New Orleans, which rallied from a 14-point deficit in the first half and withstood a late charge by the stumbling Hawks.
Al Horford drove for a slam that cut the Hornets’ lead to 98-94 with 3½ minutes remaining. But Ryan Anderson sank a 3-pointer that caught the front of the rim, bounced high off the backboard and fell through. Anderson pumped his right fist; the Hawks never got closer than 5 the rest of the way.