Final - 2OT
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Surging Lakers try to stop struggles against Bobcats

Jan 27, 2009 - 2:19 PM Charlotte (18-26) at LA Lakers (35-8) 10:30 p.m. EST

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Lakers have been rolling lately, but a meeting with a perennial bottom-feeder could derail their progress.

The Lakers go for their fifth straight win on Tuesday when they host the Charlotte Bobcats.

Los Angeles has won 14 of its last 17 contests to move atop the NBA standings and pushed its lead in the Western Conference to six games on Sunday with a 99-85 victory over the second-place San Antonio Spurs.

Kobe Bryant scored 22 points and Andrew Bynum added 15 and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who led by as many as 21 points and rested all their starters except for Pau Gasol in the fourth quarter.

Despite its recent run of success, Los Angeles has struggled against the Bobcats, who have won four of the last five meetings despite failing to win more than 33 games in any of the last four seasons.

Charlotte is poised to continue their winning ways against the Lakers if they can bounce back from a 98-93 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.

The Bobcats had won five of its previous six games, but were dominated on the boards by the Pacers, getting outrebounded 52-36 en route to the setback.