CHARLOTTE, February 15 – Kobe Bryant battled through illness to score 20 points but the Los Angeles Lakers suffered their most lopsided loss of the NBA season, falling 109-89 to Charlotte on Monday.
Gerald Wallace scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Charlotte while Gerald Henderson added 18 points and Frenchman Boris Diaw had 16 points for the Hornets, who have won eight of their past 10 starts against the reigning NBA champions.
The Lakers have a losing record against only two NBA clubs — the Boston Celtics, whom they beat in last year’s NBA Finals, and the Bobcats, who only reached the playoffs for the first time last season.
Pau Gasol added 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Lakers while Ron Artest added 10 points.
The Bobcats led 49-43 at half-time and outscored the Lakers 29-17 in the third quarter to pull away for good.
Bryant missed a pre-game warm-up after being listed as questionable for the game due to chills and aches.