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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Friday, March 23rd (All times eastern)

Los Angeles Lakers (36-32) at New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets (31-37),8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - New Orleans/Oklahoma City will be the latest team to try and stop Kobe Bryant when the Hornets welcome the Los Angeles Lakers tonight to the New Orleans Arena.

Bryant has been in the zone over Los Angeles' last three games -- all wins -- as he became just the fourth player in NBA history to post three straight games of at least 50 points after his 60-point performance in the Lakers' 121-119 win over Memphis on Thursday.

Bryant joins Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan as the only players to score 50 points or more in three straight contests. Bryant had 65 last Friday against Portland and then posted 50 versus Minnesota on Sunday.

Baylor turned the trick in December of 1962 while with the Lakers.

Lamar Odom added 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who had lost seven straight before Bryant's scoring barrage. Luke Walton donated 11 points as Los Angeles moved a full game ahead of Denver for sixth overall in the West.

The Lakers improved to 14-21 on the road this season and begin a five-game homestand on Sunday against Golden State.

The Hornets will play for the sixth and final time this season in New Orleans, where they are 3-2 this campaign.

New Orleans was last in action on Tuesday when it also defeated Memphis, 114-103, behind 26 points and six rebounds by David West.

Chris Paul added 23 points and nine assists for the Hornets, who won their second consecutive game and are 10th overall in the West, one game behind the Clippers for the eighth spot in the standings.

Tyson Chandler chipped in with 16 points and 11 boards, while Rasual Butler came off the bench to net 15 points against the Grizzlies.

New Orleans is 20-13 as the host this season and begins a three-game homestand against the Lakers.

The Hornets have beaten the Lakers twice this season and will go for the three-game series sweep tonight. Los Angeles, though, has won seven of the last 10 in the series.

03/23 10:40:17 ET

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