7:05 pm
December 15

Lakers @ Hornets

Who will WIN this matchup?

Los Angeles Lakers (17-11)

@ Charlotte Hornets (14-14)


Current odds:

Los Angeles Lakers: (-125)

Charlotte Hornets: (+105)


• The line for this game is Lakers by 1.5 points.

• The Los Angeles Lakers dropped the opener of a four-game road trip and look to get back on the winning track when they visit the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday. The Lakers succumbed 126-111 to the Houston Rockets to start the trip and now face a Charlotte team that had its season-best three-game winning streak snapped on Friday. Los Angeles coach Luke Walton didn’t like the way his squad handled things in the fourth quarter while being outscored 36-23 by the Rockets on Thursday.

• The Hornets entered the fourth quarter with a 15-point lead on Friday before suffering a 126-124 overtime loss to the visiting New York Knicks. “It’s the NBA,” Charlotte coach James Borrego said during his postgame press conference. “You have to play for 48 minutes and we didn’t compete for 48 minutes. … We have another one (Saturday). We have to bounce back.”

• LeBron James scored 29 points on 12-of-18 shooting in the loss to the Rockets and has scored 20 or more points in eight straight games. Also on a strong scoring run is fellow forward Kyle Kuzma, who had 24 points against Houston for his sixth straight 20-point outing. Backup shooting guard Lance Stephenson contributed 17 points for his third-highest outing of the campaign after scoring just 26 total points over his previous seven appearances.

• A bright spot in the disappointing loss to the Knicks was the play of center Cody Zeller, who had season highs of 21 points and 13 rebounds for his 16th career double-double. “I thought Cody was good,” Borrego said of Zeller, who was 9-of-10 from the field. “He battled down there and made some good plays, good decisions. He played hard. We’re definitely going to need him (Saturday) night as well.” Star point guard Kemba Walker had 16 points and 10 assists for his second double-double of the season but was just 6-of-20 shooting.

• The teams split last season’s two meetings with the road team winning each time.

• Charlotte SF Nicolas Batum scored a season-best 21 points against New York after finishing in double digits in five of the previous six games.

• Los Angeles SF Brandon Ingram (ankle) will miss his fifth straight game.

StreakSmarter Pick
Los Angeles Lakers