The Los Angeles Lakers are reeling, and they look to get back on track tonight in New Orleans, facing Chris Paul and the Hornets at New Orleans Arena. The Lakers have lost three straight games, all by 15 or more points. The biggest culprit has been the offense, which has scored 79, 80, and 82 points in the last three contests.
Kobe Bryant had an especially tough night Tuesday in San Antonio, making just eight of his 27 field goal attempts in what Dexter Fishmore of Silver Screen and Roll rightfully called a "rancid performance." Bryant wasn't alone, as the Lakers combined to shoot a season-worst 35.4% from the field. Shannon Brown made one of 11 shots, Steve Blake made one of five, and Derek Fisher made just one of four field goals. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom combined to take just 17 shots, and even they only made six shots.
It was a putrid night all around for the offense, which has been a no-show for three straight games. The Laker offense figures to face a tough test again tonight, as the Hornets are sixth in the league in defensive efficiency, allowing 102.3 points per 100 possessions. New Orleans is also third in the NBA allowing 92.4 points per game. However, the Hornets have been struggling themselves after a great start to their season. New Orleans, like the Lakers, were 8-0, but since then the Hornets are just 10-13, and at 18-13 they are currently sixth in the Western Conference.
The Lakers are 7-3 against the Hornets in New Orleans, dating back to 2002-2003, although they lost their last contest, 108-100 last March 29. Tonight's game features three of the four longest active games played streaks in the NBA. Derek Fisher leads all active players, playing in 443 consecutive games, while Jarret Jack (320 games) and Emeka Okafor (287 games) of the Hornets are second and fourth, respectively.
For more Lakers news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.