NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 14th (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (10-12) at Charlotte Bobcats (10-13), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Lakers have lost a season-high three straight games since the return of superstar Kobe Bryant and will resume a four-game road trip Saturday against the Charlotte Bobcats.
The losing ways continued with Friday's 122-97 drubbing at the hands of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Durant scored a game- high 31 points and Westbrook added 19 and 12 assists, while Bryant had just four points on 2-of-6 shooting and handed out 13 assists.
Bryant had 20 points in a loss to Phoenix and sat out the fourth quarter.
Nick Young and Xavier Henry scored 17 and 15 points, respectively, for the Lakers, who have lost four of five games and fell to 4-6 on the road. Pau Gasol, who has questioned head coach Mike D'Antoni's offense, finished with 14 points and seven rebounds against the Thunder.
"They're a tough team," Gasol said. "They were very aggressive and we did a poor job on Westbrook."
Gasol is shooting a career-low 42.3 percent this season.
The Lakers still have Atlanta and Memphis to play on this road trip.
Charlotte has lost two in a row and four of six games, including Friday's 99-94 road setback to the Indiana Pacers.
Al Jefferson scored a team-high 21 points on 50 percent (9-for-18) shooting and also added nine rebounds and two assists. Jefferson has scored in double figures in nine straight games for Charlotte, which got 13 points apiece from Kemba Walker and Ramon Sessions.
Gerald Henderson had 10 points in the loss. Bismack Biyombo returned for the Bobcats after missing two games with a sprained ankle and posted six points to go along with seven rebounds.
On a positive note, Charlotte has held opponents under 100 points for the 18th time, the most in the NBA this season. But the Pacers were still too much in the end.
"They're just a great defensive team," said Jefferson.
Charlotte is 6-7 at home and will also entertain Sacramento at Time Warner Cable Arena.
The Bobcats and Lakers are meeting for the first time since L.A. won both meetings a season ago. The Lakers have won four straight in this series, but have lost five of seven games in Charlotte.
12/14 10:30:17 ET