CHARLOTTE: Kobe Bryant nailed a pair of free throws with 37 seconds left as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Charlotte Bobcats 88-85 on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) for their first win since Bryant’s return.
In his fourth game after sitting out eight months following surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon, Bryant also netted 21 points.
The Lakers closed the game on a 9-0 run.
The Lakers trailed 85-79 with 2:50 left after Kemba Walker nailed a jumper.
Nick Young then hit a triple and Bryant drove in for a layup with 1:22 to go to cut the Bobcats’ lead to one.
After Bryant made his foul shots, Gerald Henderson was unable to get his right baseline jumper to fall. Al Jefferson seized the offensive rebound, but missed a short jump shot following a timeout.
Pau Gasol hit two free throws with six seconds on the clock and Ben Gordon’s three-pointer from the right wing came up short to seal the outcome.