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CHARLOTTE, N. Mack Hollins Jersey .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.Donnel Pumphrey Jersey . Then Klay Thompson put his foot on the gas. Thompson scored 19 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and Harrison Barnes scored 14 points in his season debut to help the Golden State Warriors to a 106-93 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night. Vinny Curry Jersey . With his father watching from the stands, Harrison homered, doubled, single and drove in a career-high five runs to lead the Pirates to a 8-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday. MIAMI -- Veteran cornerback and rookie negotiator Cortland Finnegan sealed a deal Friday with the Miami Dolphins. Representing himself in contract talks, the eight-year veteran found a new home after an injury-plagued 2013 with the St. Louis Rams. Finnegan, who has no agent, said he spoke with a lot of general managers and head coaches around the NFL, but his only free-agent visit was to Miami. "It was a great experience," he said. "If I was like four years in the league, it would be cool to have an agent. The older you, you can understand where your market value is." The Dolphins also signed another ex-Ram, guard Shelley Smith. He agreed to a $5.5 million, two-year deal, with $1.5 million guaranteed, then left town headed for his wedding. Smith reinforces a troubled offensive line that gave up a franchise-record 58 sacks last year. Four of the five starters have departed, including tackle Jonathan Martin and guard Richie Incognito, who were involved in the teams bullying scandal. Smith started eight games over the past two seasons for the Rams, including two last year. Finnegan, who was an All-Pro in 2008, started only five games last year, when he was sidelined by a hamstring injury and then an eye injury that required surgery. The Rams signed him to a $50 million, five-year contract in 2012 but recently released him, his career in apparent in decline. "You can never know how much a guy has left in the tank if hes injured," Finnegan said. "I was injured most of the year. Now its a clean slatte. Wes Hopkins Jersey. Im on a new team with great coaches, and Ive got to let my play do the talking." Finnegan is known for drawing flags and fines, a sensitive issue for the Dolphins after their experience with Incognito, who had a reputation for dirty play. "I play with an edge, and Ive learned to control that throughout the years," he said. "At the same time, I want to bring that same tenacity and spunk and everything I had that maybe I was missing. A lot of people said something was missing, and maybe thats what it was. You dont want to hurt the team, but you want to play with the edge that got you where youre at." General manager Dennis Hickey said the Dolphins like Finnegans zeal on the field. "He has been a tough playmaker over his career, with a veteran presence and leadership and love and passion for the game," Hickey said. Finnegan is expected to complete for playing time with Jamar Taylor and Will Davis, who saw little action as rookies last season. The Dolphins are looking for a starter opposite Brent Grimes, a Pro Bowl cornerback re-signed last week to a $32 million, four-year deal. "Grimes is one of the best in the NFL, in my opinion, if not the best," Finnegan said. "Im excited to play with him and learn from him." Grimes and Finnegan are both 5-foot-10. A native of Milton, Fla., Finnegan was a seventh-round draft pick with the Tennessee Titans, where he spent his first six NFL seasons. He has 18 career interceptions, with four returned for touchdowns. Stitched Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys 2019 Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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