Miles Bridges scored 26 points and Ish Smith provided a large boost off the bench with 22 points as the host Charlotte Hornets held off the injury-riddled Los Angeles Lakers, 117-114, on Friday night, January 28 (Saturday, January 29, Manila time).
Terry Rozier and LaMelo Ball each scored 20 points for Charlotte, which was two nights removed from setting a franchise record with 158 points against the Indiana Pacers.
Ball made the first of a two-shot free-throw opportunity with 9.6 seconds to play to give the Hornets a 116-114 lead. Russell Westbrook’s three-point attempt bounced away with less than a second left before a PJ Washington free throw accounted for the final score.
Smith, who often doesn’t play much, shot 10-for-12 from the field.
The Lakers played without LeBron James, who missed a game for the second night in a row with a sore knee, and Anthony Davis, who had 31 points and 12 rebounds Thursday night at Philadelphia but is coming off a knee injury and got the night off.
Westbrook poured in all but 5 of his 35 points in the second half and Carmelo Anthony posted 19 points for the Lakers. Austin Reaves notched 16 points and Kent Bazemore had 13 points.
Los Angeles was hurt by 23-for-32 shooting on free throws.
Charlotte was minus super-sub Kelly Oubre Jr., who had 39 points and matched a franchise record with 10 baskets from three-point range in the Indiana game. He sat out with an ankle injury and starter Gordon Hayward is out due to COVID protocol.
Los Angeles trailed 71-51 in the first minute of the third quarter, but pulled even at 84-84 later in the quarter.
Charlotte went back up by 10 in the fourth quarter before Reaves and Westbrook helped spark another surge from the Lakers.
But a Rozier three-pointer and a Bridges three-point play helped stretch the edge to 111-102 with 2:37 remaining.
Earlier, the Hornets kept up the offensive firepower by building a 65-49 halftime lead.
Charlotte’s Mason Plumlee pulled in a game-high 17 rebounds.
Also, it was supposed to be Malik Monk’s first game as an NBA visitor in Charlotte, but the guard didn’t play against his former team because of groin soreness. He was in the starting lineup Thursday night at Philadelphia. – Rappler.com