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Lakers Vs. Hornets: Game 4 Preview

The Los Angeles Lakers look to take control of their first round NBA playoff series against the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday night in Game 4 in New Orleans. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers to a 100-86 win in Game 3 with 30 points, the 80th 30-point playoff game of Kobe's career. Here are the relevant details of tonight's game:

  • What: Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals, Lakers at Hornets
  • When: 6:30 p.m. PDT
  • Where: New Orleans Arena
  • Bench Barometer: The Hornets won Game 1 thanks in part to their bench scoring 39 points on 16-of-22 shooting. However, in the next two games the New Orleans bench scored just 22 points on 9-of-34 shooting
  • Bynum's Knee: Lakers fans everywhere held their collective breath Friday night in the third quarter when Andrew Bynum went down clutching his right knee. His surgically repaired right knee. Bynum had 14 points and 11 rebounds in Game 3, but only two of those rebounds and none of the points came after halftime. Bynum told reporters he would play Sunday, and that his knee brace has helped. "I think it just happens because the MCL is a little loose," Bynum told ESPN LA's Dave McMenamin. "But as long as I have the brace on, hopefully I'll be all right. ... I'm lucky because that brace is doing its job."
  • The Importance Of Game 4: When winning Game 4 of any best-of-seven series in their history, the Lakers have won 40 of 44 playoff series
  • Looking Ahead: Dallas had a chance to pull ahead 3-1 in their series with Portland, with a 23-point lead with 13 minutes remaining in Game 4 on Saturday, but Brandon Roy the Blazers managed one of the greatest comebacks in NBA playoff history, outscoring the Mavs 40-15 in the final 13 minutes to even their first round series at 2-2. If the Lakers should beat the Hornets, they would next play the winner of Dallas vs. Portland, so a win tonight for the Lakers in Game 4 could help shorten this series, providing rest while the Mavs and Blazers fight it out in a prolonged series.

For more news on this first-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation's playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.