With the road struggles this season, the Charlotte Hornets were looking to end their four game trip on a high note. Who knew that a West Coast road trip in January would be the Hornets best stretch of basketball this season. After wins against the Warriors and Kings, they went to Los Angeles and ran the Lakers out of the Staples Center, .
The Hornets offense was flowing early as they made their first 9-of-15 shots from the field. However, the Lakers managed to keep up with the Hornets torrid pace to begin the game. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marvin Williams began the game by scoring 12 of their first 15 points for the Hornets combined. In the end, the Hornets ended the first quarter with a four point advantage.
They began the second quarter by building on their lead. After going on a 14-6 run to start the period, they led by 12 midway through the second. Kemba Walker began to take over, and the Hornets continued to add to their lead. The bench, specifically Jeremy Lamb contributed to the lead as they were efficient with their minutes. The defense for the Lakers struggled as they allowed 63 points in the first half to the team from Charlotte.
The Lakers began the second half by making a lot of jump shots. Rookie Lonzo Ball and veteran Brook Lopez helped to get the deficit back to single digits. With Dwight Howard’s activity on the offensive glass, the Hornets were able to weather the storm a bit. Frank Kaminsky hit two straight buckets to get the Hornets lead to 19 late in the third.
The Hornets began the fourth by creating turnovers and getting opportunities in transition. They kept their foot on the gas and never looked back. An alley oop from Treveon Graham to Jeremy Lamb felt like the explanation point on a great west coast road trip. This fantastic play stretched the Hornets lead to 25 and the game was out of reach for the Lakers.
Overall, this West Coast road trip could be the turning point of the Charlotte Hornets season. With eight of their next nine games at home, these next few weeks will tilt the needle for this team. With the way things have gone this season, anyone would take 3-1 road trip with wins against the Lakers and the Warriors. The Hornets look to continue their winning ways Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks back in Charlotte.