The Los Angeles Lakers are on a nine-game losing streak with six games left until a much-needed All-Star break, and host Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Hornets with a bit of history on the line. A tenth-consecutive loss would match the longest winning drought in franchise history, matching a stretch in 1994 while Magic Johnson was handling coaching duties.
The squad should be in full force, though Kobe Bryant's game status continues to be an in-the-air thing while he works around a sore right shoulder that's nagged him throughout the season. Julius Randle's role in the starting lineup could also be changed at any moment, with head coach Byron Scott still planning on putting Larry Nance, Jr. back with the front five. It would be surprising to see the shift happen one game after Randle put in a career-high scoring total, however.
The Hornets beat the Lakers in Charlotte earlier in the year, with Kemba Walker pouring in 38 points on 14-of-25 shooting. Considering the Lakers' defense has sunken to the bottom of the NBA and resides there dormant, Kemba might Walker all over the Lakers' perimeter and interior efforts. Charlotte is dealing with a host of injuries as Nicolas Batum, Jeremy Lin, Jeremy Lamb, and P.J. Hairston could all be sidelined for this game, along with definite absences from Al Jefferson and Cody Zeller.
The Hornets are incredibly shorthanded, the Lakers are incredibly bad, and this Sunday matchup is shaping up to be incredibly sad. Will Scott not only be on track to breaking a franchise-worst season record he set last year, but also be one loss away from the largest losing streak in Lakers history once the smoke settles Sunday night? At what point does this madness end?
Enjoy the game, you brave souls spending your Sunday evening with this one.
Time: 6:30 p.m. PT
TV: TWCSN, FSS