NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, December 1st (All times eastern)
New Orleans Hornets (7-10) at Los Angeles Lakers (13-3), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - If the New Orleans Hornets are to cure their road woes tonight they will have to do it in the unlikeliest of places, against the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.
The Hornets fell to 1-7 as the visitor on the year Sunday in Sacramento when Sergio Rodriguez scored a career-high 24 points, as the Kings took a 112-96 victory over New Orleans at ARCO Arena.
David West scored 24 to pace New Orleans, which had won four in a row against the Kings, including a 97-92 decision in its home opener on October 30. Emeka Okafor contributed 20 points and nine boards for the Hornets, who had won four of five overall coming into the game.
"I just don't think we got into a rhythm," West said. "Didn't play together, didn't work the game as a unit. I thought guys tried to do too much individually."
On the injury front, the Hornets remain without All-Star guard Chris Paul (sprained ankle) and may again toil without sharp-shooter Peja Stojakovic, who missed New Orleans' loss in Sacramento due to personal reasons.
The Lakers, meanwhile, made sure New Jersey made some rather ignominious history on Sunday. Despite a new coach, it was the same old story for the Nets, who now share a dubious NBA record after losing their 17th straight game to begin the season, a 106-87 blowout at the hands of the Lakers hours after New Jersey fired head coach Lawrence Frank.
Kobe Bryant scored 30 for the Lakers, who won their sixth straight game -- all by double digits. They also beat the Nets for a fourth straight time. Pau Gasol tallied 20 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, while Jordan Farmar chipped in 15 points.
"Our defense is getting better and our energy is remaining consistent," said Bryant. "We're coming with effort and intelligence. You don't wish what New Jersey is going through on anybody. They're in a little disarray right now, but they'll snap out of it."
The Lakers have won two straight and five of their past six meetings with New Orleans, including a 104-88 blowout last month in LA.
12/01 11:58:58 ET