CHARLOTTE, NC—The Los Angeles Lakers were unable to hang on to a double-digit first half lead, falling to the Charlotte Hornets 117-113 on Tuesday, December 20.
Jordan Clarkson led the Lakers with 25 points, 5 assists and three rebounds while coming off the bench. Nick Young scored 24 points including five 3-pointers while Lou Williams added 16 points and eight assists. Julius Randle contributed eight points, six rebounds and four assists.
The Lakers scored a season high 73 first half points and took a 73-59 lead at halftime after making 12 3-pointers. Fifteen points from Charlotte’s Kemba Walker in the third quarter cut the Los Angeles lead however, allowing the Hornets to rally for the win.
“You’ve got to know that when you’re playing a playoff team, that building up a lead in the first half doesn’t really mean much,” said Lakers head coach Luke Walton after the game. “They’re not going to fold. There’s a reason they’ve had success the last couple of years. You’ve got to be ready to match that intensity.”
Walker scored a game-high 28 points and grabbed eight rebounds and 10 assists. Nicolas Batum added 23 points, five rebounds and 10 assists. Marvin Williams had 15 points, five rebounds and two assists.
Charlotte has won two consecutive games and is fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 16-13. The Hornets will host the Bulls on Friday, December 23.
The Lakers have lost two straight games, falling to 11-20 overall. Los Angeles will continue a seven-game road trip with a matchup against the Miami Heat on Thursday, December 22.