LOS ANGELES (AP) — Make no bones about it. Coach Mike D'Antoni's skeleton roster was no match for the opportunistic Charlotte Bobcats and Al Jefferson's dominating presence in the paint.
Jefferson tied a career high with 40 points, 16 of them in the fourth quarter, and grabbed 18 rebounds to help the Bobcats send the floundering Los Angeles Lakers to their sixth straight defeat with a 110-100 victory Friday night.
"I have those moments," Jefferson said. "They kept running plays for me and I kept scoring. In the first quarter, they weren't going down for me, but I just kept staying with it because I knew sooner or later it would start going down for me. "
Jefferson set a franchise record with his 11th straight game of 20 or more points, eclipsing the mark set by Jason Richardson in 2007-08. It was the 13th game this season in which an opposing player scored at least 30 against the Lakers, something that happened in 18 games last season — and there are still 35 games remaining.
Jefferson is averaging 19.9 points and 10.7 boards, but wasn't selected for the All-Star game and has yet to play in one in his 10 years in the league.
"I've been disappointed with the All-Star games, man, for many years. So I don't listen to the hype," Jefferson said.
Gerald Henderson added 20 points for the Bobcats. Starting point guard Kemba Walker missed his sixth straight game since a sprained left ankle ended his career-opening consecutive game streak of 190. Ramon Sessions, who has started every game at the point during Walker's absence, had 13 assists and nine points.
Sessions, along with starting power forward Josh McRoberts and reserve guard Jannero Pargo — all former Lakers — combined for 26 points and the Bobcats snapped a string of five straight defeats against Los Angeles.
Charlotte shot 52.3 percent from the field, improving to 5-0 when shooting at least 50 percent. The victory was the Bobcats' ninth on the road, four more than all of last season.
Still missing Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar and Xavier Henry because of injuries, the Lakers lost for the 18th time in 21 games and are only a half-game ahead of last-place Sacramento in the Western Conference standings just four seasons after winning their 16th NBA title. Pau Gasol had 24 points for Los Angeles and Nick Young added 21 off the bench.
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