The Los Angeles Lakers were able to take full advantage of their brief homestand at the Staples Center by treating fans to a victory against the Charlotte Hornets.
The Lakers kicked things off on a high note with back-to-back dunks to start the game. The Hornets then responded with a 12-0 run to force head coach Luke Walton to call a timeout in order to adjust.
Los Angeles was able to find their footing coming out of the break and it was not long before they managed to take the lead back down thanks to a hot start from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Both teams continued to trade punches until the first quarter ended with Charlotte ahead, 35-33.
The Lakers were able to carry over their momentum into the second quarter and quickly take the lead thanks once again to the efforts of their South Bay affiliates. Unfortunately, LeBron James had some trouble taking care of the ball after committing five of the team’s six turnovers in the first half.
Regardless, Los Angeles broke the game open with back-to-back three-pointers from Caldwell-Pope and Lance Stephenson to give them a double-digit lead. Their effort on both sides of the floor allowed them to maintain their solid deficit as they went into halftime with a 69-59 lead.
Following a slow start to the second half, the Lakers started to click on all cylinders as their effort on defense led to easy baskets on offense. They were even able to go on a 14-0 run of their own to give them their largest lead of the game while Kyle Kuzma joined Caldwell-Pope as the only 20-point scorers in the third quarter.
Charlotte simply had no answer for the versatile attack from Los Angeles and they did not have much difficulty capitalizing off their miscues on both sides of the floor. Despite the Hornets struggles, they managed to cut the Lakers 20-point lead in half going into the final period.
Kemba Walker finally started to make his presence felt after being hounded by the Lakers defense all game. He did what he could to try an keep his team within striking distance but Los Angeles had an answer for every run Charlotte attempted to go on.