The Los Angeles Lakers look for their sixth straight win tonight, but to do so they have to battle their recent nemesis, the Charlotte Bobcats. The Lakers have lost eight of their last 10 games against the Bobcats, including a 20-point loss on February 14 in Charlotte. The Bobcats have beaten the Lakers in three of their last four meetings at Staples Center, and along with the Celtics are the only team with an all-time winning record against the Lakers (8-5).
The Lakers have clamped down on defense since the All-Star break, which has helped them to their five-game winning streak. In five games, the Lakers have allowed just 88.4 points per game and a mere 0.89 points per possession. In their last two games, the Lakers trailed at halftime on the road but allowed 31 points in the second half to Oklahoma City and 34 points in the second half to Minnsota. Meanwhile, the offense has scored 1.15 points per possession since the break.
The Lakers are 21-8 at home this season. The Bobcats are 10-20 on the road, but are 7-8 on the road under coach Paul Silas, who took over for Larry Brown on December 22. For Charlotte, tonight is the third game of a four-game road swing. After tonight's game, the Lakers head out on the road for a tough four-game road trip that will take them to San Antonio, Atlanta, Miami, and Dallas.
For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.