Charlotte Hornets seek improbable win over the Los Angeles Lakers

Charlotte Hornets Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With a plethora of injuries affecting the Los Angeles Lakers, could this finally be the time the Charlotte Hornets get a win over King James?

If you’re a Charlotte Hornets (35-39) fan, you know how much LeBron James has dominated this team.

Whether it was in Cleveland, Miami, or now with the Los Angeles Lakers (33-42), it seems LeBron relishes playing the Hornets, feasting upon them nearly every game.

Now, however, might be the best shot Charlotte has at defeating James. With their playoff hopes pretty much dashed and with a multitude of injuries to key players, this may be the weakest LeBron led team the Hornets will have ever faced.

If Charlotte wants to keep their own playoff hopes alive, this is a must win, especially given the talent they’ll face on this four-game road trip.

Charlotte’s last game was a 125-116 overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs. They are still 10th in the Eastern Conference but are only a game and a half back of the 8th spot. Los Angeles’ last contest was a 100-115 loss to the Utah Jazz. They are at the 11th spot in the West. This is the final match-up between these two teams.

Charlotte Hornets at Los Angeles Lakers
10:30 p.m. EST, Friday, March 29th, 2019
Staples Center
Fox Sports Southeast


Injury Report:


Cody Zeller – Knee (Out)

Jeremy Lamb – Ankle (Probable)


Josh Hart – Knee (Out)

Tyson Chandler – Illness (Questionable)

Reggie Bullock – Foot (Questionable)

Lonzo Ball – Ankle (Out)

Brandon Ingram – Shoulder (Out)

Things to watch for:

Here’s an interesting, but rather disappointing, statistic: Kemba Walker has never beaten a team that featured LeBron James.

He is 0-27 against the King, including one playoff series where Charlotte got swept by the Miami Heat back in 2014. That’s gotta sting for the captain and with his future in Charlotte uncertain, it really would be great to see him finally beat James in a Hornets uniform.

I hope Hornets fans have some coffee ready because that very late tip-off, at least for us East Coasters, means this game will undoubtedly end past midnight. Such are the joys of playing on the West Coast.

Keys to the game:

Los Angeles ranks just 29th in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage. That’s somewhat surprising, but that does bode well for a Hornets squad whose perimeter defense has been suspect through various stretches of the season.

That’s no reason to sag off shooters, of course, as any team can get hot.

Another mildly unexpected piece of info is that the Lakers allow the 4th most rebounds per game and the 3rd most offensive boards. Charlotte isn’t exactly a monster on the glass, but this would potentially make it easier for them to get second-chance points and keep Los Angeles off the offensive glass.

I know most fans see LeBron and automatically assume it’s a loss for the Hornets, but I have some faith in Charlotte.

Next. Steve Martin to return for last 8 games. dark

Even with the injuries Los Angeles has, it’ll still be a tough match-up, however, but if there’s a time for the Charlotte Hornets to snag one from the King, it’s now. We’ll see if they can get it done late Friday evening in L.A.