The Los Angeles Lakers managed to accomplish their 15th win in 16 games since the All-Star break, with a 102-82 beat down over the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday night. The Lakers are attempting to hunt down the San Antonio Spurs for the 1st spot of the Western Conference standings en route to the upcoming NBA playoffs. On the other hand, the Hornets are dealing with the loss of star player David West due to a season-ending ACL torn injury. Odds.
Star player Kobe Bryant led Los Angeles with 30 points, while Spaniard teammate Pau Gasol contributed with 23 points and 16 boards. Young gun Andrew Bynum added 13 points to earn L.A. their 7th consecutive victory. Kobe and company will have their following three days off, which will be used to have some serious intensive training before a showdown with Dallas on Thursday. According to Phil Jackson a.k.a. the Zen master, the Lakers still have some improvements to do.
With the playoffs looming in and an outstanding five-week push since hosting the All-Star Game, the Lakers who have a 53-20 record, have managed to pull within a half-game of the late-surging Chicago Bulls (53-19) for the NBA’s second-best record. Scores.
L.A. also closed the gap a little bit, now within four games of the NBA-leading San Antonio Spurs who hold a 57-16 record, the best in the NBA so far. Both teams have nine games to go, including a meeting at Staples Center in late April.
Ex-Kings forward Carl Landry had a season-high 24 points and pulled down 10 rebounds fro the Hornets, while Chris Paul had 10 points and nine assists. Landry is set to become West’s replacement. This was the Hornets’ second game without West, their injured scoring leader. 7-footer Emeka Okafor contributed with 14 points and 10 rebounds for his team who is not looking forward to succeed without David West. The two-time All-Star is done for the season after tearing a ligament in his left knee.
If things continue this way, the Hornets will face a tough match-up against the L.A. Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. As Pau Gasol said, “the NBA is all about matchups”, and if this is the case, then L.A. is expected to have an edge over their 7th-seeded struggling rivals. Las Vegas odds.
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