New Orleans Hornets vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Preview, Analysis and Predictions

In case you missed it, the Los Angeles Lakers are back!

Kidding, of course, but it's hard to say that the team hasn't looked drastically different in its past two contests (both wins, first over the Utah Jazz on Friday night, then over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday).

A suddenly passive Kobe Bryant (he dished out 14 assists in each of those two games) has keyed this mini-resurgence for the Lakers. With less of a focus on finding his own offense, the league's third-leading scorer (28.7 points per game) has found the energy to fill out his stat sheet with MVP-caliber numbers (in addition to the assists, he corralled nine rebounds in both games).

Of course, just as Bryant the scorer showed us, it takes more than the efforts of one player to find victories. And that's where the Lakers have seen their biggest improvement: in terms of a balanced scoring attack. Seven different players reached double figures in at least one of those two victories.

Standing in the way of what would be just the Lakers' third winning streak of at least three games, though, are the New Orleans Hornets.

Coach Monty Williams' team has enjoyed its best stretch of basketball in January, holding an 8-6 record for the month.

With a healthy Eric Gordon (16.8 points per game) back in the mix, New Orleans fans have just recently gained a glimpse of this team's true potential. That impressive January record includes victories over the 36-11 San Antonio Spurs, the 29-15 Memphis Grizzlies and the 25-22 Houston Rockets.

The dynamic pairing of Gordon and rookie Anthony Davis draws most of the national buzz, but it's been the unheralded Ryan Anderson who's paced this Hornets offense with 17 points per game.


Time: Tuesday, January 29, 10:30 p.m. ET


Records: New Orleans Hornets (15-29), Los Angeles Lakers (19-25)

Betting Line: Lakers -10


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