Posted March 06, 2013 on
AP on Fox
The Los Angeles Lakers are under .500 again, and poor play on the road continues to be a problem.
A meeting with the New Orleans Hornets gives them an opportunity to change that.
The Lakers will try to return to the break-even point Wednesday night and continue their dominance of the last-place Hornets.
Expected to be a leading title contender, Los Angeles (30-31) is instead one of the league's biggest disappointments, sitting 2 1/2 games back of Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Lakers have lost 20 of 30 road games, including four of the last six, a stretch during which they've surrendered 109.3 points. In contrast, they have limited opponents to 97.8 per contest during a 10-2 run at home.
Los Angeles fell again on the road Tuesday, losing 122-105 to Oklahoma City. However, the team avoided what would've been a devastating blow when Kobe Bryant returned from a right elbow injury that forced him to leave the game for roughly 4 1/2 minutes.
"Every time you try to bend your elbow or extend it, there's a little resistance and there's a lot of pain," Bryant said.
The Lakers have already spent parts of this season without center Dwight Howard, guard Steve Nash and forward Pau Gasol - all of them All-Stars - but Bryant is planning to stay in the lineup.
"I'm going to keep playing," Bryant said. "This is the critical part of the season."
Bryant sure is performing like it, averaging 34.0 points on 54.8 percent shooting - 14 of 29 from beyond the arc - over the past six games after overcoming the elbow injury to score 30 versus the Thunder.
Facing New Orleans (21-40), which is at the bottom of the Southwest Division, may be just what the Lakers need to begin a strong stretch.
They've won 15 of the past 17 meetings with the Hornets, and kept that dominance going by beating them for a ninth straight time Jan. 29, winning 111-106 at home.
Los Angeles has also won five straight in New Orleans, including a 103-87 rout on Dec. 5.
The Hornets have dropped six of eight after squandering a 17-point, second-half deficit en route to a 105-102 loss to Orlando on Monday.
"It was terrible. There's no other way to slice it," coach Monty Williams said. "We gave up 69 points in (the second) half against a team that played last night and had a two-hour flight. That, to me, is not something we should be proud of at all. Even if we had won that game I would still be upset about our defensive effort."
Williams should be pleased with Anthony Davis, who had 17 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks against the Magic in his first game since missing two with a left shoulder sprain.
The rookie forward had 18 points in the most recent meeting with the Lakers, but was out with an ankle injury for the latest home matchup.
Ryan Anderson had 31 points and nine boards in Davis' place Dec. 5. Back on the bench, the forward managed 13 points and two rebounds Monday.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Not sure what made the Hornets forget to guard Kobe Bryant, but with less than 30 seconds left in a two point ball game, Kobe squeezes through the New Orleans Hornet defenders for an easy dunk. Bryant scored 42-points in the L.A. Lakers 108-102 victory.
The Los Angeles Lakers are a flawed team. They must be to have the roster that they do and not be on top of the league rather than fighting for a playoff spot. However, if there is one thing that can be said about this flawed team it is this--you can never count these guys out.
Wednesday night the fans in New Orleans were happy thinking that there franchise was going to topple...
During a recent special on NBA TV, Michael Jordan was asked who is the best player is in the game today, Kobe Bryant or LeBron James?
The six-time NBA champion and five-time league MVP's gives a bit of a mixed signal with his answer, but ultimately chooses Bryant because of his five titles.
Kobe Bryant got the Lakers back to a .500 record (30-30) after a 34 point night that included the go-ahead layup with nine seconds left. Apparently the Black Mamba is also a big Entourage fan as he celebrated Los Angeles’ win by high-fiving with Entourage star, Jeremy Piven (Air Gold).
Kobe Bryant is in his 17th season in the NBA. Many expected the superstar to finally start showing his age this season and begin to slow down, but by all accounts that has not been the case. Shooting a career high in FG%, the Black Mamba is showing us that he still has plent left [...]
Following the Lakers' 122-105 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kobe Bryant took to Twitter and gave credit where credit was due.
Bryant sent a tweet to Thunder's Russell Westbrook, complimenting him on his performance.
"@russwest44 was cookin tonight. He's got mamba blood runnin thru his veins . You gave it to me tonight lil bro. C u down the road!" Bryant...
The Big Leagues The Lakers guard posterizes Josh Smith, then hits game-winner for good measure.
There can only be one T….
Here is a look at the press release that offers $5 million to Kobe Bryant to entice him to defend not only his reputation but also his victory from 1997. “We at Sex.com feel it is important for the sport of basketball that Kobe and Lebron face-off in the dunk contest and we want to be part of this historic event. The NBA’s best players used to enter...
Since Kobe Bryant and his Lakers are playing right now against the OKC Thunder, I might as well post this look I missed from him during the NBA All Star Weekend.I like to keep my material fresh and up-to-date, but umm, YOLO(On this post). At the 2013 NBA Celebrity All-Star game, Kobe wore a chic printed $595 Givenchy Cotton Modal Airplane Scarf. The vintage military design of this...
The New Orleans Hornets blew a 25-point lead and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 108-102 Wednesday. After committing supremely idiotic plays like this one, you can’t help but say they deserved to lose.
The Lakers faked out the Hornets on an inbounds play with 25.5 seconds left in the game by lining up on the side of the court they were defending, not the one they were attacking...
Solanus de la Serna (Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
For the desperate Los Angeles Lakers, every game is key from here on out as they continue their pursuit of a playoff berth. However, Tuesday’s matchup vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder carries additional pressure as the Lakers will try to prove that they can hang tough with the League’s best in their first game at .500 in...
Kobe AKA Black Mamba AKA Vino is showing that age is just a number as far as he’s concerned. Check out this dunk on Hawks Josh Smith from the Lakers win on Sunday.
That actually looked like #8 fro Kobe. The Lakers are now at .500 with about 6 weeks left until the playoffs
A remarkable comeback in their latest contest showed how serious the Los Angeles Lakers appear to be about making a push for the playoffs.
Trying again to move above .500 for the first time since November, the Lakers hope to continue their home success over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night while trying for a season-high fifth straight victory at Staples Center.
Trailing by as...
Two crazy plays involving L.A. teams in the Association tonight. First possibly the best alley-lop in NBA history by Jamal Crawford and Blake Griffin. And here's the Hornets forgetting what hoop they were shooting at after over 23 minutes of the 2nd half. Can the Hornets help out the Lakers any more? First they trade them Kobe Bryant and now they both a huge lead in such embarassing...