The (5-26) Los Angeles Lakers head to the next stop on their road trip and have taken the one hour, 43 minute flight east, 87 degrees from north, 521 miles to Charlotte, North Carolina for a back-to-back run with the (16-13) Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena. Dealing with a sore knee Kobe Bryant came out hot, scored 14 first quarter points and finished the game with 19 points playing in the first and third quarters and sitting out the second and fourth quarters.
It is important to point out that the efficient Memphis Grizzlies playing on zero days rest outscored the Lakers 70-58 in the first half, the Los Angeles was more competitive in the second half, although the purple and gold clad team could not make up the difference and due to the same usual suspect, their defense, lost 112-96. Memphis came into the game ranked 29th out of 30 teams in scoring at 95.9 points per game, however the Grizzlies hit 90 points in three quarters of work. To put it another way, the Lakers have trailed by at least 20 points in each of their last seven losses.
The game provided the Lakers with some positives, Larry Nance Jr. posted a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, Jordan Clarkson had 12 points and D’Angelo Russell had 10 points and three assists off the bench. The numbers you need to know; 44, 17, 56 and 28. The Lakers allowed the Grizzlies to score 44 points in paint, 17 fast break points and shoot 56-percent from the field. To say nothing of L.A. shooting 29 three-point shots and making eight on 27.6-percent shooting from behind the arc. While in the Hornets nest, the Lakers could visit Discovery Place, Carolinas Aviation Museum or the Harvey B. Gant Center for African American Arts and Culture.
If time permits the Lakers could have a meal at the 10 Pin Brew & BBQ, 131 Main or the Asbury. The Hornets rank 13th in the NBA in scoring (101.8 points per game), 14th in rebounding (43.9 rebounds per game), 15th in assists (21.6 assists per game) and ninth defensively (allowing 99 points per game). The Lakers lead the all-time series against the Hornets 32-18. The purple and gold has won two and split two of their last four two game season series, with a 5-2 record in their last seven games. The Hornets are 12-5 at Time Warner Cable Arena, in contrast the Lakers are 3-17 on the road. The Hornets are in fourth place in the Southeast Division, two and half games behind the Atlanta Hawks. Charlotte guard Kemba walker leads the Hornets in scoring (17.9 points per game), assists (5 assists per game) and steals (1.7 steals per game). In order for the Lakers to have any success, it starts and ends with their performance on the defensive end.
Lakers: L. Williams, J. Clarkson, K. Bryant, L. Nance, R. Hibbert
Hornets: K. Walker, N. Batum, P. Harriston, M. Williams, C. Zeller
Tip-off: 4:00 PM PST
• Los Angeles: TWC Sportsnet (Bill MacDonald & Stu Lantz)
• Charlotte: Fox Sports Southeast (Eric Collins & Dell Curry)
• Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (John Ireland & Mychal Thompson)
• Charlotte: The Fan 610 AM – WFNZ (Steve Martin)
• Lou Williams (Soar Left Shoulder) Probable
• Ryan Kelly (Soar Neck) Probable
• Marvin Williams (Neck) Day-to-Day
• Nicolas Batum (Right Hand Contusion) Day-to-Day
• Spencer Hawes (Back) Doubtful