By Kevin R. Linares
What seemed like it would end as an embarrassing loss to the New Orleans Hornets turned into a late game surge by the Lakers who were down 25 points at one point in the game. Kobe did not let his injury slow him down as he knocked down 13 of his 42 points during the last six minutes of the 4th quarter where they went on a 20-0 run. Dwight Howard had a better offensive game tonight with 20 points along with 15 rebounds and from the bench Jodie Meeks gave the team a boost finishing with 19 points hitting five 3 pointers, 2 of which were late in the 4th quarter.
The Lakers need every win they can get right now and received help from the Cleveland Cavaliers who beat the Utah Jazz 101-104. The Jazz, who now sit in the 8th playoff spot in the Western conference, are ahead of the Lakers by just 1.5 games. After what seemed to be a loss that might bring the Lakers back to their ways from what has been going on during most of the season, the playoffs just keep getting closer for L.A.
The Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors, the 7th and 6th seeds in the Western Conference will play each other on Friday. The way the Rockets have been playing lately it is looking like they will not budge from the playoffs and the Warriors might seem too far for the Lakers to reach, making the Jazz the better target for L.A.
Next up for the Lakers are the Toronto Raptors as they return home to the Staples Center on Friday. The Raptors are 28-34 and are coming off a win against the Phoenix Suns. Looking at the way the Lakers played in New Orleans, it is not safe to say it will be an easy win for them.