LOS ANGELES — Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 19 points and 12 rebounds apiece, and the Charlotte Hornets sent the Los Angeles Lakers to their franchise record-tying 10th consecutive defeat, 101-82 Sunday night.
Kobe Bryant scored 23 points in 23 minutes, but the Lakers matched the 1994 team for the longest skid in the 16-time NBA champion franchise’s proud history. Los Angeles dropped to 9-41, guaranteeing three straight non-winning seasons for the first time since 1961.
Kemba Walker had 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Hornets, who wrapped up their four-game road trip with a decisive win over the Western Conference’s worst team. Charlotte cruised even with four of its top eight scorers out due to injury.
While Bryant hit four 3-pointers and excelled in his first 20-point performance since Jan. 7, his teammates received loud boos from a Staples Center crowd finally growing tired of their poor play in his farewell season.
Jordan Clarkson scored 13 points and Lou Williams added 11 for the Lakers.
Charlotte could have struggled at the close of a West Coast trip. Instead, the Hornets led for all but one possession.
MKG IN LA
Kidd-Gilchrist returned from shoulder surgery in Portland on Friday night after being sidelined since October. He went 6 for 7 against the Lakers and hit two 3-pointers. Marvin Williams hit four.
Bryant missed his first five shots before banking in a short jumper late in the first quarter. He heated up with three 3-pointers and two free throws in a 2:06 span in the second quarter, earning a standing ovation and chants of "Kobe! Kobe!" from the adoring Lakers fans.
Bryant was a high school freshman when the Lakers lost 10 straight games in 1994 under interim coach Magic Johnson, who watched this game from courtside.
Jeremy Lin had six points, five assists and five rebounds despite a sprained right ankle. The point guard spent last season with the Lakers, struggling to fit into coach Byron Scott's offence and rarely playing a significant role on the worst team in franchise history. Lin signed with Charlotte in July.
Hornets: Jeremy Lamb sat out his fifth straight game while hobbled by a sprained toe. ... Nicolas Batum also sat out again due to a strained toe.
Lakers: The crowd observed a pregame moment of silence for Marge Hearn, the widow of longtime Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn. She was 98 when she died Saturday night. ... Before the game, the Lakers signed Make-a-Wish recipient Yitzi Teichman to a one-day contract. The brain cancer fighter got a No. 18 jersey. ... Rookie F Larry Nance Jr. sat out after a setback with his sore right knee. The Lakers are considering shutting him down until after the All-Star break, Scott said. ... IOC President Thomas Bach, Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart, and Robbie and Claudine Keane attended the game.
Hornets: Host the Cavaliers on Wednesday.
Lakers: Host the Timberwolves on Tuesday.