Wednesday , Dec , 06 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Slumping Hornets try to sting Lakers

(Sports Network) – The injury-riddled New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets try
to halt a five-game losing streak when they visit the Los Angeles Lakers
tonight at the Staples Center.

Peja Stojakovic (strained lower back), David West (strained right
forearm) and guard Bobby Jackson (cracked left rib) are all sidelined for the
Hornets. West has not played since November 12th and is averaging 17.4 points
and 8.3 rebounds, while Stojakovic, who joined the club through a sign-and-
trade with Indiana during the offseason, last played on November 24th and
Jackson did not play the Hornets last contest.

On Friday, Andres Nocioni scored a season-high 31 points and grabbed 13
rebounds as the Chicago Bulls edged New Orleans/Oklahoma City, 111-108, at the
Ford Center.

Rasual Butler poured in 33 points in the loss to Chicago for the Hornets,
while reigning Rookie of the Year Chris Paul recorded his third-career triple
double with 25 points, 18 assists and 11 rebounds for the Hornets, who have
lost eight of their last 12 games overall.

The Hornets, who begin a three-game road trip this evening, are 4-5 on the
road this season. They will visit the Seattle SuperSonics on Friday at
KeyArena and the Golden State Warriors on Saturday at ORACLE Arena in the
finale of the current swing.

The Lakers have won three straight contests and play the second of a four-game
homestand. Superstar Kobe Bryant has an injured ankle and is questionable for
tonight’s contest.

Bryant scored 21 points before leaving the game with an ankle injury on
Monday, as the Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers, 101-87, at the Staples
Center. Bryant’s injury occurred with 9:34 left in the third quarter after he
rolled his ankle following a put back attempt. The All-Star guard watched the
rest of the game from the Lakers bench and did not return to the contest.

Kwame Brown scored 17 points in the win over the Pacers for the Lakers, while
Lamar Odom added 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Lakers, who have won eight
of their last 10 games overall.

The 28-year-old Bryant leads the Lakers in scoring (26.1 ppg), and has grabbed
4.6 rebounds and dished out 4.7 assists per contest. He has scored more than
20 points in four straight outings.

The Lakers are an impressive 10-2 as the host this season. They will play the
Atlanta Hawks on Friday and the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday in the finale of
the homestand.

The Hornets have lost five straight and nine of their last 10 at the Lakers.
The Lakers have won three straight and seven of the last eight meetings in
this series.