Presses weren't stopped. Parades weren't planned.
But sure enough, the Lakers beat the Charlotte Bobcats, a feat that could be confirmed by the box score and an appreciative crowd in a 92-84 victory Friday at Staples Center.
It was a slow-speed chase, nobody lighting up the scoreboard until late in the game, but the Lakers managed to beat the team that handed them a 20-point loss last month and had been on a stunning 8-2 run against them in recent seasons.
Losing year after year to the Bobcats, who have made the playoffs only once in their seven-year history, had been biting at the Lakers, their coach saying beforehand there was "no explanation" for it.