CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Make no mistake, the night belonged to Kobe Bryant, as the superstar's farewell tour made its one stop of the season at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Walker scored 38 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter. Overall, he hit 14 of 25 from the field and made three of six 3-point attempts. The Charlotte guard also had six rebounds and five assists.
"I don't know if I stole the spotlight or not," Walker said. "I just wanted to make big plays. I just wanted to do anything to win. That was the whole thing. It was great to play against Kobe for the last time in this arena, but it was also great to beat him. I didn't want to be on the other end of him getting that W, so I tried to do whatever possible to get a W, and it was a pretty good win for us."
Bryant drew thunderous applause throughout the night from a sellout crowd of 19,632. The Hornets paid tribute to him before the game with owner Michael Jordan delivering a videotaped message.
Bryant finished with a team-high 20 points, but he scored just four in the second half. He shot 5-for-20 from the field and 3-for-12 from 3-point range.
Bryant said that he was moved by the tribute from Jordan and the warmth of the crowd, and he said it was special coming back to Charlotte because the Hornets drafted him in 1996 before trading him to the Lakers.
"It's been like that in every city, fortunately," Bryant said. "Here it is a little different because this is the city that drafted me. The journey started here. As brief as it was, it still started here, and so it has more value to it."
Lakers coach Byron Scott said he has never seen anything like the reaction Bryant is drawing in his final tour of NBA cities.
"It's been remarkable," Scott said. "The fans are showing him a lot of love, and rightly so. He's put in 20 hard years and given everything he's got, every single night. I think what the fans are doing everywhere we go so far are just showing their appreciation. I think it's a beautiful thing."
The Hornets (17-13) won their second straight and further distanced themselves from a recent stretch where they lost five of six. They shot 48.3 percent from the field and committed just 11 turnovers.
They led 85-81 after three quarters in a game that had 13 ties and 21 lead changes, and they expanded the lead to 11 down the stretch.
Besides Walker, the Hornets got 16 points from center Cody Zeller, 15 points and 11 rebounds from guard Nicolas Batum, and 13 points each from forward P.J. Hairston and guard Jeremy Lin.
Walker's 38 points were one shy of his season high and four shy of his career high.
"Kemba was great," Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. "Usually he comes out at the end of the third quarter for a quick break, but we were up four and he said, 'I'm good.' We can't keep doing that, but at this part of the season where you want to get a cushion ... you leave him in there and let him go. He was great."
The Lakers (5-27) have lost four straight, six of seven, and 12 of their past 14.
NOTES: Lakers G Kobe Bryant averaged 24.1 points in 30 career games against the Hornets. He scored 58 in a game against the Hornets in 2006. ... The Hornets were without C Spencer Hawes (back) for the second straight game. ... The Lakers opened a brief three-game road trip with a 112-96 loss at Memphis on Sunday afternoon. They will close out the trip Wednesday at Boston. ... The Lakers have played 21 of their first 32 games this season on the road. ... The Hornets were coming off a 98-92 win over Memphis on Saturday. ... The Lakers came into the game ranked last in the NBA in field goal percentage at .412, and Bryant was shooting just .347. ... The Hornets have six comeback wins from deficits of 10 or more points this season. They had nine such wins all of last season. ... The Hornets were playing the third game of a four-game homestand. They will close out the homestand Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers.