CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Kemba Walker scored 18 of his 38 points in the fourth quarter, and the Charlotte Hornets defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 108-98 Monday night in Kobe Bryant’s final game against the team that drafted him – and promptly traded him – nearly 20 years ago.
Cody Zeller had 16 points and eight rebounds, and Nicolas Batum added 15 points and 11 assists for the Hornets, who have won two straight.
P.J. Hairston and Jeremy Lin each scored 13 points for Charlotte.
Bryant, who received a taped message from Hornets owner Michael Jordan before the game, finished with 20 points on 5-of-20 shooting. He had only three points in the second half, making just one of 10 shots.
Jordan didn’t attend Bryant’s final regular-season game in Charlotte, but congratulated him on an “unbelievable career” during a message that was played on the arena’s scoreboard before tip-off.