Win Streak Ends for Hornets Out in Los Angeles
Charlotte’s Defense Crumbles as Lakers Shoot 56.0% From the Field
By Sam Perley
A season-long four-game winning streak ended abruptly as the Hornets couldn’t slow down the streaky Lakers, falling 129-115 on Friday, March 29 in Los Angeles. The loss also snapped Charlotte’s three-game winning streak against the purple and gold at Staples Center as well.
Kemba Walker paced the visitors with a team-high 24 points and six assists and Dwayne Bacon continued his recent hot streak with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Bacon has now tallied three-straight 20-point games after never having one such outing in his NBA career prior to this past Sunday.
The Hornets held a two-point advantage after the opening 12 minutes, but got outscored 36-24 in the second to enter halftime down double digits. Charlotte trailed by as many as 20 in the second half and never got closer than seven the rest of the way as the Lakers rolled to their third win in four outings.
“It was a little bit of everything tonight. Defensively, we just could not get stops,” said Hornets Head Coach James Borrego after the game. “They didn’t feel us all night on the other end. They got the shots they wanted. You have to give the Lakers credit. They made shots tonight, but I think [with] our physicality defensively, we have to come to compete a little bit more on that end of the floor.
Rookie Miles Bridges had 17 points and a career-high five assists. Marvin Williams was also in double figures with 13 points and five rebounds and Devonte’ Graham tied a career high with 11 points and four assists. Nicolas Batum (DNP-CD) sat out the game for the Hornets.
“I thought our [young guys] were solid,” added Borrego. “They’re a work in progress. There are things I liked tonight. I’ll watch the film and see where we can grow and get better. Obviously, there are areas of growth that we need to see again in Golden State.”
As for the Lakers, LeBron James finished with a game-high 27 points and nine assists, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (25) and Kyle Kuzma (20) also eclipsed the 20-point barrier. Rajon Rondo chipped in seven points and a season-high 17 assists and Lance Stephenson added 14 points and a season-high 13 rebounds for his first double-double of the campaign.
Charlotte looked good on offense, connecting on 42-of-88 attempts (47.7%). The Lakers knocked down 51-of-91 shots from the field (56.0%), which included 18-of-38 three-pointers (47.4%). Los Angeles also scored 24 points off turnovers and outrebounded the Hornets, 44-37.
Charlotte will now kick off a back-to-back road set against the Golden State Warriors, which begins on Sunday March 31, at 8:30 p.m. ET in Oakland, CA.