After their three game win streak was snapped on Sunday vs the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Los Angeles Lakers were back in action Tuesday afternoon playing the visitors to the Charlotte Hornets. The purple and gold went into the game with a record of 16-42, meanwhile the host Hornets were owners of a 24-33 mark, still fighting for playoff spot.
The Lakers had been playing much better as of late, and continued to give the young players starting minutes. Rookie Jordan Clarkson started at point, meanwhile Wayne Ellington, Ryan Kelly, Carlos Boozer, and Robert Sacre were starters once again.
The Lakers had a nice offensive start to the game as Ellington hit a three and Robert Sacre converted a jumper for a quick 5-0 lead. Clarkson then it a shot in rhythm to take advantage of Charlotte’s poor shooting start. Al Jefferson converted a pair of foul shots to finally put the Hornets on the board. Clarkson hit another shot from the perimeter as he continued to show his growth, but Al Jefferson responded with a basket of his own. Another three straight Hornet baskets cut the Lakers lead to one, but Ryan Kelly hit from the outside in response. Cody Zeller drove hard to the paint and made the tough layup and got the foul call, he made the free throw and gave the Hornets their first lead of the game at 15-14. Jeremy Lin came off the bench and scored two straight baskets and fed Carlos Boozer for a nice assist and the Lakers went up again by four points. Newly acquired Mo Williams got the Charlotte crowd back in the game with a circus and-one shot. Two straight Charlotte layups in transition had the Lakers trailing by three once again with under three minutes to go. But the Lakers point guards kept their good play going and after a Lin mid-range shot and a Clarkson three ball, the Lakers were up by two and prompted a Hornets timeout. Clarkson hit again with a jumper and a nice lob to Wesley Johnson had the Lakers on a 9-0 run. The run was broken by a Marvin Williams three point basket with under a minute. The Lakers forced a 24 second violation and had the final possession of the quarter but Clarkson couldn’t hit the tough three. Lakers were up after the first 30-27.
The Lakers started the second quarter a bit slow offensively, missing their first four field goals, including two Lin layups getting blocked and a Jordan Hill air ball. Lance Stephenson hit a jumper and hit a free throw to tie up the game at 30 apiece. Hill was stripped and the Hornets promptly made a layup in transition, regaining the lead. Ed Davis picked up a loose ball and found Boozer for a layup, giving the Lakers their first basket of the quarter over three minutes in. Wesley Johnson had a nice block, gave the ball to Lin, who drove all the way to the basket, drew two defenders and fed Ed Davis for a dunk. Carlos Boozer had himself a steal, and Wesley Johnson was fouled en route to the rim, converting his two free throws, the Lakers first of the whole game. Jeremy Lin continued his good night with a nice setup play for Davis who made the layup, putting the Lakers back up by four. Johnson made a bad pass that was intercepted by Al Jefferson who was fouled at the other end. Jefferson missed both free throws but the Lakers had the ball stolen on the in bounds pass but the Hornets failed to convert. Johnson collected an offensive board off a Sacre miss and made the layup surrounded by three Hornet defenders. Jordan Henderson hit an open three ball two cut the Lakers lead to one with less than two minutes to play. Boozer made two free throws, but Al Jefferson converted the three point play on the other end two tie up the game at 48. Ryan Kelly stole the ball, but Ellington failed to hit, and Jefferson made a jumper of his own and the Hornets were back up. Clarkson hit a floater with five seconds to go, and the Lakers went to the break tied at 50.
A pair of Rob Sacre free throws got the Lakers going in the second half. But he had the ball stolen on the next possession and the Hornets converted on the turnover. Mo Williams sunk a three ball and Henderson made a basket, all of a sudden, the Lakers were down by seven. The 0 for 4 offensive start didn’t help at all. The bad start got worse after Cody Zeller stole the ball, went all the way and made the and-one. After making the foul shot, the Lakers were 53-64. Ryan Kelly drew a foul and hit both shots, but the Lakers were yet to make a field goal five minutes into the quarter. A Carlos Boozer slam on a fast break was the first field goal make of the half, which was followed by a Clarkson short jumper. The Hornets lead was down to seven, and Steve Clifford called a timeout for Charlotte. A Lin jumper kept the deficit at seven, and a pair of Kelly free throws cut it back further. Clarkson made a mid-range shot to pull within three, but Charlotte was quick to respond with two straight shots to go back up by seven. But with 10 seconds to go, Lin hit a three pointer and Charlotte squandered their last shot. The Lakers entered the last quarter down four, 74-70.
Jordan Hill hit a runner in the lane to pull the team within two. Jeremy Lin connects on a heavily contested layup to tie the game at 76. Charlotte’s Jeffery Taylor converts on a three-point play to regain the lead. Ball was stolen by Marvin Williams. Fouled by Hill. Headed to the line to connect on the first free throw, but missed the second. Hill made up for the foul with a jumper on the other end. Lakers down two, 80-78. Lin continued to attack the basket and ended up with another made layup to tie the game. Brian Roberts easily made his way past Lin for the layup. Ellington missed a contested layup. Wesley Johnson hit his third shot of the night to pull the Lakers within two. Johnson threw down a dunk on the next possession to tie the game at 84. Mo Williams hit a pair of free throws to retake the lead for Charlotte. Lin drove to the basket for his 16th point of the game. Gerald Henderson nailed a three to give Charlotte a three-point lead. Al Jefferson connected on an easy two inside the paint. Ed Davis headed to the line for two free throws after a controversial blocking foul on Marvin Williams. Davis connected on the first and the second. Down to a one-point lead for the Hornets. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist dunked it home for two. Henderson hit a jumper to extend Charlotte lead to five. Clarkson cut the lead to three with acrobatic move in the paint. Lin fouled Kidd-Gilchrist on a drive to the basket. Missed both free throws. Williams nailed a three to extend lead to six with less than a minute to go. Lin connected on a jumper. Lead down to four with 41.2 seconds left in the game. Hill missed a long two forcing the Lakers to foul. Williams headed to the charity stripe. Connected on the first and the second. Extended lead to six with 18.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Lin drew the foul and headed to the line for two. Made the first and the second. Cut the Hornets’ lead to four. Clarkson fouled Henderson sending the veteran to the line. Missed the first attempt. Made the second. Lead back to five. Clarkson scored on an easy layup. Three-point lead for Charlotte with nine seconds left on the clock. Williams made two free throws extending the lead to five once again. Hill connected on a layup. Clarkson forced to foul. Lakers down three. Williams headed back to the line yet again. Missed the first. Made the second. Four-point game. Lin hit a three at the buzzer, but Lakers lost, 104-103.