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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, November 8th (All times eastern)

New Orleans Hornets (2-4) at Los Angeles Lakers (5-1), 9:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The reeling New Orleans Hornets kick off a tough, three- game road trip Sunday by facing the reigning NBA Champion LA Lakers at Staples Center.

The Hornets fell to 2-4 on the season Friday in the Big Easy when Toronto's Chris Bosh poured in a game-high 27 points and the Raptors handled the Hornets, 107-90.

Chris Paul was the only offensive factor for New Orleans, finishing with 21 points and 18 assists. Bobby Brown and David West scored 16 and 14 points, respectively, for the Hornets, who were coming off an OT win over Dallas on Wednesday.

"What I thought during the third quarter, especially in the third quarter and in the whole second half, there was a lack of energy. I just didn't see the energy," Hornets head coach Byron Scott said.

New Orleans, which is 0-3 on the road this season, will also visit the Clippers and Phoenix on its trek.

The short-handed Lakers, meanwhile, opened a three-game homestand in positive fashion Friday when Kobe Bryant was 19-of-30 shooting for his second consecutive 41- point game and third in four contests amidst yet another record-setting night, as the Lakers pounded Memphis 114-98.

Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 24,000 points, passed veteran guard Allen Iverson -- now with the Grizzlies -- for 16th place on the all-time scoring list and notched his 99th career game with 40-plus points.

"It's a great honor, I think back to all the years I've played here. I learned a lot from the guys before me," said Bryant, who was quicker to 24,000 points by 38 days over the great Wilt Chamberlain.

There were others on the court for Los Angeles, which won its fourth in a row to move to 5-1 on the season. Ron Artest added 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds and Derek Fisher checked in with 11 points and seven helpers.

Josh Powell had a solid game off the bench with 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting.

All-Star forward Pau Gasol (strained right hamstring), who hasn't played this season, and center Andrew Bynum (strained right elbow) were sidelined for the Lakers. Both players could be back tonight.

LA, which took three of four games from the Hornets last season, will finish its residency vs. Phoenix on Nov. 12.

11/08 10:34:29 ET


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