NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Charlotte 35 24 32 24 115
LA Lakers 33 36 32 28 129
7:30 PM PT8:30 PM MT9:30 PM CT10:30 PM ET2:30 GMT10:30 7:30 PM MST9:30 PM EST6:30 UAE (+1)03:3022:30 ET8:30 PM CT1:30 , March 29, 2019
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California  Attendance: 18,997

Hornets visit Lakers, look for fifth straight win

According to STATS
According to STATS

Charlotte Hornets at Los Angeles Lakers

  1. The Hornets have won their last three road games against the Lakers and will be trying to beat the Lakers four times in a row on the road for the first time ever.
  2. Kemba Walker's 33 assists over his last three games are the most in any three-game span in his NBA career.
  3. Charlotte's field-goal percentage has gone down with each successive month this season: they have shot .463 in October, .462 in November, .447 in December, .440 in January, .439 in February and .435 in March.
  4. The Lakers have allowed at least 100 points in 34 straight games, the fifth-longest streak in franchise history and their longest since a 71-game streak from 1967 to 1968.
  5. Rajon Rondo is averaging 9.2 assists per game when in the starting lineup this season, second most in the NBA (minimum 10 starts) behind only Russell Westbrook (10.4).
  6. JaVale McGee is averaging 21.5 points, 15.3 rebounds and 4.25 blocks per game over his last four games. In the past 10 years, the only other NBA players to average 20/15/4 over a four-game span are Dwight Howard and Rudy Gobert.

Don't look now, but here come the Charlotte Hornets.

The Hornets have won a season-high four straight games heading into their matchup against the host Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, keeping them in the thick of the playoff hunt with eight games left.

Charlotte's last three wins have come against teams headed for the playoffs, most recently a 125-116 overtime win Tuesday night against the visiting San Antonio Spurs. That pulled the Hornets within 1 1/2 games of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference entering Thursday.

The Hornets are trying to return to the postseason after missing out the past two years. They haven't won a playoff series since 2001-02.

"I'm proud of our group," Hornets coach James Borrego said. "For a young group, this is the first time we're doing this together. All of us."

The Lakers are coming off a 115-100 loss at the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, ending their first two-game winning streak since mid-January and guaranteeing a losing record for the sixth straight season.

"Whether it was tired legs or what, we just couldn't really find an offensive rhythm," Lakers coach Luke Walton said.

Walton rested LeBron James against the Jazz, so he should be fresh for the Hornets. Walton said he doesn't expect James to coast to the finish line in his first season in Los Angeles.

"I think (LeBron) takes it very serious," Walton said. "He's been the face of the NBA for however many years now. He's aware of that, and I think he takes that responsibility, he takes it very seriously."

The Hornets have received superb play from point guard Kemba Walker during the winning streak. He's averaging 30 points the past four games, scoring 38 against the Spurs.

"The ball can be in Kemba's hands and good things are going to happen," Borrego said.

Walker has formed solid chemistry with rookies Miles Bridges and Devonte Graham, and second-year wing Dwayne Bacon, who has been especially impressive to Borrego.

"Dwayne is such a presence out there on both sides," Borrego said. "'I'm seeing a ton of confidence from him."

Bacon has established career-high point totals in each of the past two games, scoring 20 in a 115-114 win against the Raptors on Sunday, and 24 against the Spurs.

Bridges, the No. 12 overall pick last June, has reached double figures in scoring the past four games for the first time this season. Graham, a second-round pick like Bacon, has 25 assists and just two turnovers the past six games.

"When you put (Bacon) and Miles out there, that's a pretty good defensive lineup," Borrego said. "(Bacon) has been fantastic on both ends of the ball, but I just love his spirit right now. Just the confidence, it's oozing right now, and when you see young guys get this, they want more. They're hungrier. They've tasted it now. They want to keep going, and that group right now wants to keep going."

Luck has also been on Charlotte's side lately. The Hornets beat the Raptors when Jeremy Lamb made a half-court buzzer-beater.

Charlotte needs to improve its record away from home, however. The Hornets are 11-24 in road games and play six of their final eight on the road.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 28, 2019

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