In the regular season, the Lakers beat the Hornets twice in New Orleans; they blew out the Hornets back on December 29th, 103-88, and on February 5th, the Lakers escaped with a 101-95 victory. Albeit those were meaningless games, the Lakers have come accustomed to beating the Hornets on their home-court and they will not be fazed by the crowd’s energy.
The Lakers have won pivotal road games before, and Game 3 on Friday will be their biggest games of the season up to this point. Nevertheless, the Hornets’ home fans will galvanize the team and they will be amped up for to see the defending champions. With the relocation of the Hornets looming, the Lakers should expect to see an extremely hostile crowd as these two games may be the last time they ever get to see Chris Paul in a “New Orleans” jersey.
The Lakers must match the Hornets energy in the next two games, and they must assert their will in the paint. The Lakers failed to do that in the games in Los Angeles, and they had to suffer with two close games. If Bynum and Gasol put together an effective and efficient performance, the Lakers will head back to Staples Center up 3-1.[phpbay]Kobe Bryant, 3, “”, “”[/phpbay]