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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, February 14th (All times eastern)

Los Angeles Lakers (38-17) at Charlotte Bobcats (23-31), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers had trouble shooting and rebounding the last time out, and hope to put that behind them tonight in the continuation of a seven-game road trip in Charlotte.

The Lakers don't have much time to dwell on Sunday's 89-75 loss at Orlando in which they made 39 percent from the field, including a horrid 2-for-16 clip from beyond the three-point line. LA was also beaten on the glass, 46-34, and managed just 34 points in the second half. The 75 points were a season low.

Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest both ended 1-for-4 from three-point range, while Bryant and Andrew Bynum led the way with 17 points apiece for Los Angeles, which suffered its first loss on the Grammy Awards road trip (4-1). Bynum grabbed nine rebounds and Lamar Odom finished with 15 points and eight boards in a reserve role.

"We didn't shoot the ball very well," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "I thought our defense was okay, just didn't shoot the ball very well."

Los Angeles will close out the road swing in Cleveland on Wednesday and is 19-9 as the visitor this season.

The Bobcats are coming off a historic night and aim for back-to-back victories this evening with a Lakers squad set to invade Time Warner Cable Arena. In Saturday's 88-86 triumph in Atlanta, Stephen Jackson hit the game-winning basket as time expired to lift Charlotte to its third win in nine tries.

Jackson's jumper erased a 22-point deficit for the Bobcats, who established the largest comeback in franchise history and ended a two-game losing streak. Jackson scored 32 points on 12-24 shooting and Shaun Livingston netted a season-high 22 points with six rebounds and five assists.

"I want every shot in the end," said Jackson, who has scored 20 points or more in nine of his last 12 games. "If you know me, anything about me, I want the ball at the end. I don't mind taking the shot. Everybody on the team was telling me bring this home."

Gerald Wallace compiled 16 points and 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double in seven games. He also had a season-high seven assists and is averaging 17.9 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists in his previous seven games.

Charlotte will try to even its 13-14 home record Monday night. It is 14-12 under head coach Paul Silas after going 9-19 over the season's first 28 games with Larry Brown patrolling the sidelines.

LA and Charlotte are meeting for the first time since splitting a home-and- home series a season ago, with each club prevailing as the host. The Bobcats are 7-5 all-time against the Lakers, losers in two straight and four of five as the guest in this series.

02/14 10:42:33 ET


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