The Los Angeles Lakers took another step toward .500 Friday, picking up a 100-93 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on the road.
The win didn't come without struggle, though. The Lakers got off to a horrible start and found themselves trailing the lowly Bobcats by 12 at halftime. Even Kobe Bryant was off in the first half, going 0-of-2 and being held to no points.
However, Bryant and the Lakers would be all business in the second half, showing how good this team can be when things get clicking.
The Black Mamba finished the game with 20 points, seven rebounds and eight assists as the Lakers overcame a 20-point deficit to come up with the seven-point victory. Earl Clark also came up huge for the Lakers, scoring 17 points with 10 rebounds in place of an injured Pau Gasol.
The Bobcats, who own the NBA's worst record, were paced by Byron Mullens and Gerald Henderson but got almost no support from the bench. Mullens and Henderson had 20 points apiece.
It wasn't as pretty as the Lakers might have hoped, but avoiding a loss to the Bobcats after being pummeled by the Boston Celtics in their last game has to be considered a big momentum booster.
Player of the Game: Kobe Bryant
Obviously, Bryant would have liked a better start to the game. It's not very often he is held scoreless in a half, but he more than made up for it in the second half.
When the Lakers could have easily folded and called it a day, Bryant elevated his game and made sure they wouldn't go away quietly.
Bryant filled up the stat sheet and showed why he is still one of the best players in the game today.
What's Next for the Lakers?
The Lakers will need to be at their very best for a road game against the Miami Heat on Sunday.
What's Next for the Bobcats?
The Bobcats will look to get over this loss quickly when they travel to Philadelphia to play the 76ers on Saturday.