Game: Los Angeles Lakers @ Charlotte Hornets
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds: Lakers +7, Hornets -7
The Lakers were listless without LeBron James last night and lost to Philadelphia 105-87. The only saving grace for LA was the 31 points and 12 rebounds from Anthony Davis who is back in the lineup after missing 18 games with a knee injury. James is listed as questionable for tonight with a sore left knee. If he doesn’t play again, it could be a long night for the Lakers against a Hornets team that can pour it on.
Charlotte enters tonight’s game coming off a huge win over Indiana on Wednesday night. The Hornets scored a franchise-best 158 points in beating the Pacers by 32. Charlotte shot 58 percent from the floor and nailed 24-of-45 three-pointers. Kelly Oubre hit 10 threes and had 39 points while LaMelo Ball had a triple-double with 29 points, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds.
That type of play is why the Hornets have won eight of their last 11 games. They are also 8-3 ATS during that span. For whatever reason though, the Hornets do not fare so well against the Lakers at home. In the last eight games against Los Angeles at home, the Hornets have failed to cover the spread. Charlotte has played well enough at home over its last 16 games to have gone 13-3 ATS.
In last night’s loss to the Sixers, Malik Monk and Russell Westbrook were the only other Lakers in double figures. If James is unable to go, the Lakers are going to need someone else to step up and score. The Hornets are first in the NBA in scoring averaging nearly 115 points per game. The Lakers have reached the 115-point mark just once in their last seven games.
Los Angeles has owned the series with Charlotte having won seven of the last ten meetings. The Lakers have also covered the spread in eight of those ten games. In the only meeting so far this season, Los Angeles won at home back in November by a score of 126-123. The Lakers covered as 2.5-point favorites and the total went way over the posted total of 225.5.
There could be more of that tonight. Tonight’s total is even higher at 228.5 and reflects the ability of both teams’ scoring abilities. The Lakers are a top-10 scoring offense. Both teams struggle on the defensive end too. The Lakers are 26th in points allowed per game. The Hornets are 28th.
Both teams rank in the top ten in pace as well. The Hornets are No. 2 in pace while the Lakers are seventh averaging 101.7 possessions per game. Charlotte has scored an average of 120.7 points in its last three games. Despite all the points, the Hornets typically face some big total numbers. As a result, the Under has hit in 12 of their last 17 games. The Over has cashed in four of the Hornets’ last six games against the Lakers.