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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 14th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (26-16) at New Orleans Hornets (10-32), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Lakers have been fighting and scratching their way to wins lately, but that shouldn't be the case tonight against the lowly New Orleans Hornets in the Big Easy.
The Lakers have won three in a row by a combined 11 points after triumphs over Minnesota, Boston and Memphis. They recorded a 116-111 double-overtime victory against the Grizzlies last night, as Andrew Bynum scored six of his 37 points in the second overtime and Kobe Bryant added 34 points.
Bynum also pulled down 16 rebounds and Pau Gasol ended with 14 points and eight boards for the Pacific Division-leading Lakers, who shot 49.4 percent and rallied from 17 points down in the third quarter and 11 in the fourth to win for the 11th time in 15 games.
"There's never been a panic with this group," Lakers head coach Mike Brown said. "That's what they did tonight. They played the game the whole time. Nobody panicked."
Derek Fisher scored eight points and reached the 10,000-point mark in his career. He is the 47th active player to reach the milestone. Los Angeles is two games ahead of the LA Clippers in the division standings and will shoot for a third straight win on the road Wednesday. It is 8-14 as the guest this season and 3-1 in overtime games this year, after going a perfect 4-0 in overtime games a season ago.
Bryant is posting 31.3 points in the past three games and Bynum is averaging 27.7 points and 13.3 rebounds over that time.
New Orleans will resume a three-game homestand this evening and opened the residency with a 73-71 loss to Charlotte on Monday. Trevor Ariza tried stuffing a dunk over Charlotte's Bismack Biyombo, but was denied at the rim.
"This was a bad loss for us," said Ariza. "Even for us this is a bad loss. This is a game we should have won."
Jarrett Jack scored 15 points and Chris Kaman had 12 with 16 rebounds for the Hornets, who lost for the ninth time in 12 tries and are 4-17 as the host. New Orleans has dropped two in a row at home and will finish the residency Thursday versus Washington. The Hornets are 5-22 against the West this season and 0-26 when being outshot.
The Hornets have the worst record in the Western Conference at 10-32 and are last in the Southwest Division. They are playing the Lakers for the first time since losing all four meetings a season ago and are just 4-12 in the last 16 matchups in this series.
03/14 10:45:09 ET
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