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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, January 7th (All times eastern)

New Orleans Hornets (21-15) at Los Angeles Lakers (25-11), 10:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The reigning NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers will open up a three-game homestand tonight against the New Orleans Hornets in search of their third straight win.

The Lakers are coming off a 99-95 victory in Phoenix on Wednesday when Kobe Bryant led the way with 24 points.

Andrew Bynum posted 14 points and seven rebounds, while Lamar Odom ended with 12 and 10 for Los Angeles, which has won the two straight following a 2-4 stretch.

"I didn't think we moved the ball the way we want to, but we got a couple of baskets at the end that changed the course of the game," Lakers head coach Phil Jackson said.

LA, which is 12-5 in Hollywood this season, will also face New York and Cleveland on its residency.

The Hornets, who are opening up a quick two-game road trip that will finish in Denver on Sunday, hope to bounce back from a disheartening home loss to Golden State on Wednesday.

Monta Ellis scored 12 of his 29 points to fuel a dominant fourth quarter comeback in that one as the Warriors downed New Orleans, 110-103.

Chris Paul scored 24 points, grabbed six rebounds and handed out a game-high 13 assists for the Hornets, who had a three-game win streak halted. David West contributed 16 points, nine caroms and five assists in defeat.

"We made a run, but we put ourselves in a hole, and we just have to close out teams like that," Paul said. "I think that was a bad loss for us."

New Orleans has won two straight on the road but is just 7-10 as the visitor this season. The Lakers, meanwhile, have won four of their past five games against the Hornets, including a 103-88 win in New Orleans back on Dec. 29.

New Orleans has also dropped three straight at Staples Center versus the Lakers.

01/07 11:03:02 ET


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