CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- This was more like the Kobe Bryant the Los Angeles Lakers are accustomed to seeing. Bryant, who is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon and still learning to trust his legs, was back to making big shots down the stretch and helping his team win Saturday night -- although in a somewhat tentative manner. "I dont know what I can and cant do," Bryant said. "Im just trying to measure it. I didnt know if I could drive to the basket. Every game has been like that." Bryant took a big step in the right direction, scoring a season-high 21 points to help the Lakers defeat the Charlotte Bobcats 88-85 for their first win since Bryant returned four games ago. Bryant was 8 of 15 from the field and hit two free throws with 37 seconds left in the game to put the Lakers ahead for good. Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill had 15 points apiece for the Lakers and Nick Young had 13 points off the bench. Kemba Walker had 24 points and eight assists for the slumping Bobcats, who have lost three straight and five of their last seven. "I knew it was coming eventually, its not a big deal," Bryant said of getting his first win of the season. "We know its a marathon not a sprint. We have to do the right things game in, game out. Some games youre going to lose." Bryant averaged 11 points in his first three games. He eclipsed that by halftime. Bryant showed his touch when he banked in a 15-footer over Gerald Henderson and his range when he stepped out to knock down a 3-pointer from 26 feet. But there were some struggles as well. Bryant committed seven turnovers and air-balled a 3-pointer. But he did enough to help the Lakers win. "I think he improved a little bit," Lakers coach Mike DAntoni said. "I think he got his legs under his shot a little bit and that looked better. He got tired. He got tired toward the end and it was his first back-to-back. Theres a lot of things that he has to work through. "We have to somehow find some wins and gut it out. Its not pretty right now. We dont have a playmaker and weve got to get guys healthy and get Kobe well." The Lakers trailed most of the game, but cut the lead to 85-84 when Bryant drove the lane and scored a left-handed layup with 1:22 remaining. Al Jefferson and Walker would both miss on the other end and Bryant went to work looking to take the lead. He drew a foul on a jump shot with 37 seconds left and hit both free throws with some of the crowd chanting "M-V-P" while others booed. Henderson missed a jumper for Charlotte, but Jefferson corralled the rebound and the Bobcats took a timeout to set up the last shot. Jefferson backed down Pau Gasol but couldnt convert a baby hook and the Gasol grabbed the rebound and was fouled. Gasol hit both free throws to push the lead to three with 6.2 seconds left. Ben Gordons 3-pointer fell short as time expired. "It was one of those games that came down to the last play at the end, but we have to try to do a better job of taking care of some of the minor mistakes we made earlier in the game so it doesnt come down to the last second," Gordon said. The Bobcats (10-14) came into the week looking to improve their spot in the playoff picture in the East, but dropped all three games. Coach Steve Clifford, who worked as an assistant last year with the Lakers, said having a player like Bryant to go to in the fourth quarter -- even if not completely healthy -- is just a huge advantage. "When it comes down fourth quarter in this league if you have a perimeter player who can draw help and a second defender, its a huge advantage," Clifford said. "Were going to have to be really good at getting the ball to Al in spots. Again, its not easy. The easier thing is to have Kobe. "You can just him the ball and he just makes plays. But thats all right, that is the way our team is made and we have to learn how to do that. But it is more difficult? Its infinitely more difficult, yes it is." The highlight of the game came in the third quarter when Josh McRoberts cut down the lane, took a pass from Walker and skied over Pau Gasol for a one-handed slam dunk that brought the crowd to its feet. NOTES: Welterweight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. was courtside. ... Henderson has scored in double figures in 22 games this season, including 15 straight. ... The Lakers have won five straight against the Bobcats. Mike Pouncey Chargers Jersey
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.Carla Fontes hadnt cut her hair since intermediate school, but her coach at Waiakea High School, Stan Haraguchi, thought the locks flowing below her waist were interfering with the sport. ATLANTA -- Lucas Duda had three hits, including a home run, and Andrew Brown added a towering two-run shot to lead Dillon Gee and the New York Mets to a 5-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday. Gee (11-9) cruised after he was given a 5-0 lead in the third. The right-hander allowed one run on four hits in seven innings. Freddie Freeman homered off Mets reliever Vic Black with two outs in the eighth. The Mets had 12 hits, including 11 in only 4 1-3 innings against Kameron Loe (0-2), who made his first start in the majors since 2007. He filled in for Julio Teheran, who was given a rest -- a possible sign of things to come this month as the Braves move closer to the post-season. At least two Mets hitters reached base in each of Loes innings. LaTroy Hawkins gave up a double to Elliot Johnson to lead off the ninth. Dan Uggla and pinch-hitter Andrelton Simmons popped up and Hawkins earned his seventh save when pinch-hitter Chris Johnson struck out. Loe, 33-43 in nine seasons with Texas, Milwaukee, Seattle, the Cubs and Braves, had pitched only in relief since making his last start with Texas in 2007. He was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday and struggled in every inning against the Mets. With one out in the first, Daniel Murphy tripled and Brown hit a homer that landed about halfway up the lower level of seats in left field. Dudas homer was the start of the Mets three-run third inning. The low point for Atlanta in the inning came when centre fielder B.ddddddddddddJ. Upton and left fielder Evan Gattis watched Gees fly ball fall to the ground in the gap. The ball dropped closer to Upton, who stopped running and then looked at Gattis. Juan Lagares scored on the play. Braves fans cheered when manager Fredi Gonzalez came to the mound to remove Loe in the fifth after the right-hander walked Gee. Gonzalez rested Simmons, third baseman Chris Johnson and catcher Brian McCann. The Braves had only one hit, a single by Paul Janish in the second, before scoring once in the fifth. Uptons sacrifice fly drove in Uggla, who singled and moved to third on Paul Janishs second single. NOTES: LF Eric Young Jr., who was 0 for 5, was the only Mets starter without a hit. ... Braves CF Jordan Schafer, who has a bruised left quadriceps, was removed from the original lineup. ... The Braves completed a 7-2 homestand. ... Mets manager Terry Collins said he doesnt expect 1B Ike Davis to return this season from his strained right oblique. Davis had an anti-inflammatory injection on Tuesday in New York. ... Collins said 3B David Wright has made progress but has no projected date for his return from a strained right hamstring. ... Both teams are off on Thursday. The Mets open a series in Cleveland on Friday night when RHP Zack Wheeler faces LHP Scott Kazmir. The Braves play at Philadelphia Friday night as LHP Mike Minor faces LHP Cliff Lee. Wholesale NFL T-shirts Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping NFL Jerseys Wholesale China NFL Gear Wholesale NFL Camo Jerseys Cheap NFL Hoodies Camo China NFL Jerseys
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