The Los Angeles Lakers are on the verge of tying their longest losing streak in franchise history when the Charlotte Hornets come into town tonight. The Lakers lost 10 straight back in 1994, but they are desperate to end the streak tonight against a short-handed Hornets team. The Hornets are coming into the game trying to avoid a three-game losing streak, but they will be without one of their premiere scorers.
Nicolas Batum will be sitting out tonight’s game with a sore toe, but Kobe Bryant will be in action tonight for the Lakers. The Hornets are a subpar team in the Eastern Conference who do not do well on the road and against Western Conference opponents, so the Laker may be able to steal one tonight. Marge Hearn, the widow of the legendary Lakers announcer Chick Hearn, passed away last night at the age of 98, and since she was such an integral part of the Lakers family, the Lakers paid tribute to her prior to tipoff.
The Hornets opened up the game with back-to-back three-pointers and a trip to the free throw line and the Lakers trailed by seven early. The Lakers responded with a 7-2 run after Jordan Clarkson made Jeremy Lin fall with a jab step then nailed a three. The Hornets then responded with a 10-0 run of their own, and he Lakers trailed 10-19 midway through the first quarter. Kobe finally scored on his sixth shot attempt and then came down and knocked down another fadeaway to cut the Lakers deficit down to seven points. The Hornets failed to score in the last four and a half minutes and the Lakers trailed 16-21 at the end of the first quarter.
The Lakers started the second quarter cold from the field and the Hornets pushed their lead back up to nine points, but D’Angelo Russell earned a trip to the free throw line for his first two points of the game. The Hornets were winning the rebounding battle 21-14, but Kobe made back-to-back triples and the Lakers trailed 31-38 midway through the second quarter. With the Lakers creeping back into the game, the Hornets knocked down four three-pointers in five trips down the floor and the Lakers trailed 36-51 with 2:16 to go in the half. The Lakers shot 33 percent from the field and allowed the Hornets to score 37 points in the second quarter, and the Lakers trailed 43-58 at the half.
Kobe opened up the half missing a deep three, but on the following possession he attacked the rim and drew a foul and converted a three-point play. Kobe nailed his fourth three of the game to give him 23 points on the evening, but the Hornets pushed their lead back up to 11 after the Lakers had cut it down to seven midway through the third quarter. D’Angelo Russell finally made his first field goal of the game on his first attempt with 3:53 left in the third, but the Lakers still trailed by 11 points. The Hornets pushed their lead to 20 points, and the boos began to rain down from the rafters of Staples Center with 1:15 remaining in the third. The Lakers looked like they wanted nothing to do with this game and after three they were down 60-83.
Julius Randle checked in for Ryan Kelly with just under 10 minutes to go in the game and Lakers fans let it be known how happy they were with the substitution. However, Aaron Hairston made a three-pointer to give the Hornets a 27 point lead. With the Lakers down by 24, D’Angelo Russell made a nice move that turned his defender in a complete circle and knocked down an elbow jumper. The Lakers looked dejected on the floor and it seemed like they were just waiting for time to expire, and they trailed the Hornets 75-101 with two minutes remaining in the game. The Lakers played miserably and dropped their tenth loss in a row. Final score: Lakers 82 Hornets 101.