The Los Angeles Lakers closed out the Charlotte Hornets in convincing fashion in a 110-99 victory Saturday night. The Lakers found themselves down one in the fourth quarter, but would go on to build a 15-point lead with less than three minutes left in the game.
Jordan Clarkson scored 14 points in the fourth quarter, handling point guard duties for the entire 12 minutes. JC led the Lakers with 22 points, and his two-man game with Julius Randle was grooving. Head coach Luke Walton left not only Clarkson, but Randle and Kyle Kuzma in for the entire final frame, sticking with the thriving bench trio.
Randle scored eight in the fourth (12 total on the night) while playing great defense down the stretch once again. Kuzma contributed five of his game-high 14 rebounds in the final quarter. Walton felt the group had momentum, and they delivered a win that was dangerously close to being an ugly road loss.
Instead, it’s now back-to-back wins on the road for the Lakers with two stops left.
Lonzo Ball watched his team finish off the win from the bench, but did deliver nine assists, five rebounds and five points in his 26 minutes. Kemba Walker scored a game-high 23 points, but the Lakers kept him off the charity stripe for the entire contest. Dwight Howard scored 22 points, but only scored six of those points in the second half as the defensive effort improved.
Overall it was a very strong win for the Lakers, who now guarantee a split in a tough four-game road trip and didn’t drop a game they should win. Not a bad Saturday at all for Lakers fans. Next up, Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.