The Los Angeles Lakers got their first taste of defeat on this road trip on Sunday afternoon in Orlando, but look to get back on track tonight in Charlotte as they face the Bobcats. After opening their seven-game road trip with four straight wins, the Lakers lost 89-75 to the Magic on Sunday in their worst offensive output of the season. Now they face a Bobcats team that has given them trouble in the last few years.
The Lakers have lost four of their last five games in Charlotte, and have lost seven of their last nine to the Bobcats overall. Charlotte, who made the playoffs last season under coach Larry Brown, started 9-19 this season before Brown resigned on December 22. Paul Silas took over as coach, and the Bobcats are 14-12 since the coaching change, including wins over Atlanta, Chicago (twice), and Boston.
Stephen Jackson leads Charlotte in scoring, averaging 19.2 points per game. Under coach Silas, Jackson is averaging 21.3 points per contest, compared to 17.3 points per game under Brown. Jackson hit a buzzer beater on Saturday to defeat the Hawks in Atlanta.
Andrew Bynum, who scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds against Orlando on Sunday, banged knees in the fourth quarter and was seen limping on the court. However, after the game both Bynum and head coach Phil Jackson said Bynum's knee was fine and that he would start tonight in Charlotte, per Mike Trudell of NBA.com.
The Lakers are 19-9 on the road this season. San Antonio, at 20-7, is the only NBA team with 20 road wins this season. After tonight, the Lakers have one more game before the All-Star break, on Wednesday in Cleveland against the Cavaliers.
For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.