Suns host surging Lakers

30 January 2013 13:06:04 EST

The statistical anomaly and team chemistry train wreck that is the Los Angeles Lakers heads out on the road for a seven-game trip.

Winners of three straight against the Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Hornets, the Lakers have a poor 5-15 record away from the Staples Center and a winning road trip, however unlikely, would be a major step forward for the side. Tuesday LA had too much for the Hornets, running out 111-106 winners led by Dwight Howard's 24 points. Kobe Bryant once again turned provider dishing out 11 assists to go with 14 points but the final score is indicative of the issues that the Lakers still endure.

Only the Sacramento Kings, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets allow more points in the Western Conference than LA's 101.1 per contest while their scoring at 102.6 is fifth best in the West and sixth overall in the NBA. This leaves the Lakers four games out of a playoff place, but with a positive point differential of +1.5. As the teams head towards the All-Star break you have to think that either LA starts to win more games, or that differential ultimately turns negative.

Leading the Western Conference are the San Antonio Spurs, who carry an eight-game winning streak into their contest with the Charlotte Bobcats at the AT & T Center. The Spurs welcome in the Washington Wizards on Saturday and then don't host another contest for almost four weeks as they hit the road either side of the All-Star game.

The Lakers are 6000/1 to win the Western Conference while the Spurs are 5/7 and the Clippers are 7500/1.

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