The Los Angeles Lakers got 35 points from star Kobe Bryant, but it was not enough to prevent them from falling in a 112-102 upset to the lowly Charlotte Bobcats, who have the worst record in the National Basketball Association.
The Bobcats never trailed after taking a 15-point (40-25) lead in the first quarter, and their defense held Bryant scoreless in the fourth period to win at home Friday. Jumaine Jones led the Bobcats with a career-high 31 points. The victory snaps Charlotte's club-record 13-game losing streak. The team is at the bottom of the NBA standings with only 12 victories against 36 losses. The Lakers are in the middle of their Pacific Division with a record of 24-22.
Meanwhile, the NBA-leading Detroit Pistons defeated short-handed host the Philadelphia 76ers 87-80, who played without injured star Allen Iverson for a fourth straight game. Detroit's Richard Hamilton poured in 30 points and Rasheed Wallace added 20 more. The Pistons lead the league with 39 wins and only six losses. Philly is chasing New Jersey for the lead in the Atlantic Division, with an even record of 23-23.
Houston's Tracy McGrady netted 36 points and Chinese star Yao Ming added 24 points and 14 rebounds as the Rockets pummeled the Seattle SuperSonics 100-77. Houston capitalized on Seattle's 20 turnovers to win at home.
Elsewhere in the NBA, the Utah Jazz knocked off the Sacramento Kings 89-79, the Portland Trail Blazers held on to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 89-85, and the Toronto Raptors knocked off the New York Knicks 104-90. The Atlanta Hawks slipped past the Orlando Magic 96-94, and the Los Angeles Clippers routed the Boston Celtics 98-81.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.