LOS ANGELES — Center Al Jefferson scored a season-high 40 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to lift the Charlotte Bobcats to a 110-100 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers before an announced crowd of 18,997 at Staples Center on Friday night.
Jefferson connected on 18 of 32 field goals as Charlotte (21-27) beat the Lakers for the first time in Los Angeles in five years. The Bobcats also handed Los Angeles (16-31) its sixth straight loss.
Jefferson, who was coming off a 35-point performance two nights ago in a win over the Denver Nuggets, scored 20 or more points in 11 straight games, setting a new franchise record. The old mark was held by former Bobcat Jason Richardson, who accomplished the feat during the 2007-08 season. Jefferson also has put up at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in seven of the last eight games.
Guard Gerald Henderson added 20 points for the Bobcats. Guard Ramon Sessions, a former Laker, had 13 assists.
Center Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 24 points and nine rebounds. Forward Nick Young scored 21 points off the bench, while guard Jodie Meeks finished with 19 points.
The Bobcats led by as much as 13 en route to a 62-49 halftime lead. They shot 58.1 percent (25 of 43) compared to just 41.9 percent (18 of 43) for the Lakers in the first half. Jefferson scored 18 before the break on 8-of-13 shooting.
Charlotte continued to pour it on in the third quarter, increasing its lead to 81-61 after two free throws by Jefferson with 4:21 remaining. But the Lakers used a 17-5 spurt, including a four-point play by forward Ryan Kelly with 11.5 seconds left in the third, to pull to within 86-78 by the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.
But they got no closer than eight the rest of the way.
The Lakers gave up at least 100 points to the opposition in 14 games in a row.
In a small consolation for the Lakers, Gasol scored 20 or more points for the 10th consecutive game.
NOTES: Help might be on the horizon for the Lakers. Injured G Steve Nash (nerve root irritation), who appeared in only six games this season and has not played since November, G Steve Blake (elbow) and G Jordan Farmar (hamstring) could be available for Tuesday’s game at Minnesota, where the club kicks off a three-game road trip. All three practiced Thursday. … The Bobcats outscored the Lakers 34-16 in the paint in the first half. They also outrebounded them 23-14. … Charlotte G Kemba Walker, who has missed the past six games with a sprained left ankle, has also been ruled out of Saturday’s contest at Phoenix. … Bobcats G Gerald Henderson is one of eight NBA guards to start every game. … The Bobcats cap their four-game swing against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.
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