Lakers host Hornets before heading out

29 January 2013 13:22:37 EST
Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

The Los Angeles Lakers test their new found harmony and awareness when they start a seven-game road swing in Phoenix on Wednesday.

But first there's the small matter of the New Orleans Hornets who arrive at the Staples Center in LA for the finale of the Lakers three-game home stand. New Orleans is no longer the pushover that they used to be and is 8-4 in their past 12 contests including a couple of four-point defeats at the hands of the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. Sunday the Hornets kicked off their five-game road trip with a 91-83 victory over the Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum in Memphis. Ryan Anderson came off the bench to drain 7-of-13 from 3-point range on his way to a game-high 22 points for the visitors.

The Lakers can be backed at 20/21 in the point spread (-7.5), while the Hornets (+7.5) are priced at 20/23.

Eight games ahead of the Lakers are the Golden State Warriors who play in Cleveland on Tuesday evening after defeating the Raptors 114-102 in Toronto on Monday. Andrew Bogut returned from injury to score 12 points as the visitors had seven players in double figures in a balanced performance. Stephen Curry's weak ankles betrayed him once more and the snubbed All-Star is expected to be a game time decision at the Quickens Loan Arena.

The only other game on the NBA slate, in a quiet night for the league, takes place in Portland where the Trail Blazers entertain the visiting Dallas Mavericks at the Rose Garden. A game and a half out of a playoff place, the Trail Blazers are just 3-7 in their past 10 games falling 96-83 to the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center in LA last time out.

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