LA began the game on 7-0 run, and mostly played the Hornets evenly through the first period. Jordan Clarkson led the way with 9 quick points on 4-8 shooting. Not much defense was played in the period, with both teams shooting above 50% in the quarter.
After getting blocked by Lance Stephenson to begin the quarter, Jeremy Lin lit the Hornets up in the second. Lin repeatedley did his best Steve Nash impression, taking his time probing the lane in order to give his big men angles for dump-off passes leading to layups.
Lin and Clarkson combined for 0 turnovers in the first half, demonstrating impressive decision making and ball security that would not last throughout the whole game. For the Hornets, Al Jefferson had a near double-double of 13 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block in the first half alone.
The score was tied at 50 apiece after two quarters of play, but the Hornets tore off an 14-3 run to begin the third quarter punctuated by a Cody Zeller And-1 basket in transition. Carlos Boozer helped lead the Lakers back, and the purple and gold ended the period only facing an x point deficit
The Lakers had a chance to win the game in the final two minutes, by missed shots (Clarkson) and turnovers (Lin) by the Lakers dynamic point guard duo put the game out of reach.
Despite (or in addition to, depending on your "tanking" inclination) the loss, it was nice to see Clarkson (19 points on 19 shots, 4 assists, and 0 turnovers) play in crunch time alongside Lin and Wayne Ellington, even if he did miss 2 late pressure threes. Jeremy Lin (23 points on 16 shots, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block) also had a mostly brilliant performance, but as mentioned earlier, he struggled with coughing up the ball in the fourth quarter, making a few poor decisions down the stretch (3 turnovers in the second half).
Jefferson (23 points with 16 rebounds) led the way for Charlotte, who got another win to aid them in their chase for one of the Eastern Conference's final playoff spots. The Lakers fly to Miami tonight, and will look to get back into the win column against Hassan Whiteside and the Miami Heat on Wednesday as they continue their short road trip.
Highlight of the Night: Jordan Clarkson Clutch Spin Cycle Forever