);
Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James and the Lakers cruise past the Hornets, dent Charlotte's playoff chances

LeBron James and Rajon Rondo
(Getty Images)

Behind big nights from LeBron James, Rajon Rondo, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the Lakers register their third straight home win.

James recorded 27 points and 9 assists on 11-of-19 shooting, Caldwell-Pope scored 25 on 8-of-14 shooting while Rajon Rondo put on an all-round show with 7 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals, and a season-high 17 assists.

Over the last five minutes of the first half, the Lakers went out on a 18-9 run to take a 10-point lead into halftime. They never let go off that lead in the second half, eventually clinching the game by a margin of 14 points.

With this game, the Lakers swept the season series with the Hornets and for the first time since early December, the team has won three games over a four-game stretch.

Meanwhile, for the Hornets, who were carrying a four-game win streak into this game, this loss takes them to two games behind the Miami Heat for the eighth spot in the East standings.

The visitors had six players score in double figures with their All-Star Kemba Walker top-scoring with 24 points on 9-of-18 shooting.

Bottom half of the East playoff picture
Seed Team Record Win % Games behind
#6 Detroit Pistons 38-37 .507 -
#7 Brooklyn Nets 38-38 .500 0.5
#8 Miami Heat 37-38 .493 1
#9 Orlando Magic 37-39 .487 1.5
#10 Charlotte Hornets 35-40 .467 3

Overall, the Hornets are three games behind the sixth-seeded Detroit Pistons but making up any ground would be difficult with only seven games remaining on the schedule.

According to tankathon.com, the Hornets have the 10th toughest remaining schedule, which is third among these five teams behind the Brooklyn Nets (toughest remaining schedule) and the Miami Heat (8th toughest).

This was the first of a four-game road trip for the Hornets with the three remaining games scheduled at Oakland, Utah and New Orleans.

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