LOS ANGELES — The Charlotte Bobcats missed four shots in the final seconds two of them at the rim to fall to the Los Angeles Lakers 101-100 and extend their losing streak to 12 games.
Kemba Walker (28 points) drove for what would have been the winning basket, but his shot was blocked by Lakers center Dwight Howard. The Bobcats got up three more attempts in the dwindling seconds, but all three failed to fall through the cylinder.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 30 points. Gerald Henderson came up with 19 for the Bobcats.
Bryant broke a 97-97 tie with 1 1/2 minutes left, arching his back for a driving layup past Henderson. Bryant followed that with a pull-up 18-footer, extending the Lakers lead to four.
Bobcats guard Ramon Sessions answered with a drive to the rim. Howard (16 points and 18 rebounds) was called for goal-tending on the play and Jodie Meeks was called for a foul. Sessions hit the free throw to close the gap to one with 47 seconds left.
Bryant missed a jump shot, giving the Bobcats possession with 21 seconds left for a game-winning opportunity.
The Bobcats spread a five-point halftime lead all the way to 18 midway through the third, speeding the tempo to get transition baskets. But Henderson picked up his fourth foul during that span and had to sit. The Lakers worked their way back, and trailed by only seven entering the fourth quarter.
The Lakers were helped along by two Charlotte shot-clock violations, a season-long flaw for the Bobcats.
The Bobcats led 58-53 at halftime, after trailing by as much as 11. The difference was ex-Laker Ramon Sessions, playing his first game against his former team since opting out of his contract last spring.
Sessions decided to test the free-agent market and signed with the Bobcats over the summer. Sessions didnt play well in the Lakers playoff run last season, and drew a smattering of boos in the Staples Center when he entered the game.
But he sure showed his value in the second quarters last three minutes, scoring seven of his 13 points. In that span, the Bobcats turned a 51-47 deficit into a five-point lead. Sessions was everywhere, hitting a 3-pointer and twice driving to the rim to pick up free-throw attempts.
The Bobcats got almost all their first-half scoring from four players Sessions, Walker (15 points), Henderson (13) and Byron Mullens (10).
The Lakers got back big man Pau Gasol, whod missed several games with knee tendinitis. He started, but struggled, shooting 2-of-8 from the field. Bryant (15 first-half points) carried the Lakers for long stretches with his drives to the rim. Howard totaled 12 points and 10 rebounds at the half.
Lakers forward Metta World Peace, now a reserve with Gasol starting, scored six of his nine first-half points in the run that gave Los Angeles a 40-29 lead with just under eight minutes left in the half.
The Bobcats head to Phoenix on Wednesday.