New Orleans Hornets vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Tip-off: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 – 10:30 PM ET
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
It’s bee a past few difficult months for the Los Angeles Lakers however they now seem to have figured it out. Tonight the Lakers will try to secure their longest win streak since Christmas when they face the visiting New Orleans Hornets.
The Lakers (19-25) have had difficulties for much of this NBA season on how to take advantage of their star players. As of later, Los Angeles has tried to get a more well-rounded performance out of Kobe Bryant and more scoring from point guard Steve Nash. Furthermore, they’ve kept Pau Gasol out of the starting lineup.
Bryant had 14 assists and finished one rebound shy of a triple-double for the second straight game while scoring a team-best 21 points in a 105-96 victory over Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.
Nash scored 17 points, very close to matching his season high set Jan. 21 versus the Chicago Bulls, and Gasol had 16. Nash is averaging 14.6 points on 51.0 percent shooting over his last five games after scoring 10.4 per contest in his first 15 for Los Angeles.
With those players’ help, the Lakers have topped 100 points and shot better than 53.0 percent in back-to-back games after averaging 92.3 points on 42.0 percent shooting in its previous four.
Los Angeles might get a difficult challenge during a season-high seven-game trip that begins Wednesday but first, they’ll try to continue their dominance over New Orleans (15-29).
The Lakers have won eight consecutive NBA games and six straight while in Los Angeles. The team has almost no problems pulling away from the Hornets in a 103-87 road victory Dec. 5 even with injuries to Gasol (knees) and Nash (shin). Bryant had 29 points and became the fifth player to surpass 30,000 in that win.
Ryan Anderson had 31 points for New Orleans but only two other players reached double figures with Greivis Vasquez and Robin Lopez scoring a combined 31.
Anderson’s efforts in the opener of a five-game road trip but this led to a win. The 22 year-old scored 22 points off the bench and made seven 3-pointers as the Hornets topped the Memphis Grizzlies 91-83 on Sunday.
That victory assisted the Hornets in avoiding their first three-game skid since a season-worst string of 11 losses that began with the loss to Los Angeles and ended Dec. 22.
According to the current NBA odds and betting lines, New Orleans will next try to deny the Lakers their first three-game win streak since a season-best five consecutive wins Dec. 14-25.