NBA: Hot-shooting Hornets hold on to sting Lakers
PJ Washington scored 24 points and LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier added 23 apiece as the visiting Charlotte Hornets shot a season-best 55.3 percent from the field and held on for a 134-130 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.
Kelly Oubre Jr. contributed 19 points for the Hornets, who won for just the second time in their past 11 games, with both wins coming in the first four games of the current six-game road trip.
LeBron James scored 34 points and Austin Reaves put up 20 as the Lakers lost their third consecutive game and fell to 1-3 since star forward Anthony Davis sustained a right foot injury. The team announced Friday that Davis would be out indefinitely.
James scored at least 30 points for the sixth consecutive game.
LeBron drops his 6th straight 30 point game. pic.twitter.com/BNXMOpCHHC
— NBA (@NBA) December 24, 2022
The Hornets led by as many as 10 points in the first half, but the score was tied 67-67 at the break. In an opening half void of strong defense, the Hornets shot 56.5 percent, while the Lakers shot 51.1 percent.
The Hornets continued their torrid offensive pace, opening the second half on a 21-5 run for an 88-72 advantage. Los Angeles answered with an 11-0 run before the Hornets ended the third quarter with a 97-87 lead.
The Hornets were up 129-123 with 1:34 remaining after a 3-pointer from Ball. However, a 7-1 run by the Lakers, capped by a James layup, tied the score 130-130 with 42 seconds remaining.
The Lakers had a steal and a fastbreak opportunity to take the lead but turned over the ball with 32.1 seconds remaining.
After Charlotte’s Gordon Hayward was credited with a basket with 6.1 seconds remaining on a goaltending call, the Lakers had a chance to take the lead when Dennis Schroder missed a 3-point attempt with 1.1 seconds left.
Hayward scored 15 points and Mason Plumlee added 11 for the Hornets. Charlotte’s Nick Richards left the game with 10:13 remaining after he rolled his right ankle. He finished with five points in 12 minutes.
Rozier played in his 500th career game.
Russell Westbrook scored 17 points and Lonnie Walker IV added 15 for the Lakers, who lost Thomas Bryant with 3:16 remaining because of a right shoulder injury. Bryant had eight points and 13 rebounds.