Lonzo Ball returns, Lakers’ defense doesn’t as Hornets rout Lakers

Associated Press
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kemba Walker had 19 points and seven assists, and the Charlotte Hornets wrapped up a solid road trip with their first back-to-back victories since Thanksgiving, beating the spiraling Los Angeles Lakers 108-94 on Friday night.

Jeremy Lamb scored 17 points and Marvin Williams added 16 for the Hornets, who won three of four in California and avenged their home loss to the Lakers last month. Six players scored in double figures for Charlotte, which has won four of six overall.

Lonzo Ball had 11 points and five assists in his first game since Dec. 23 for the Lakers, who have lost nine straight since Dec. 20. The rookie point guard missed six games with a sprained left shoulder, and he returned in limited minutes while rebuilding his strength.

Brandon Ingram had 22 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, but Los Angeles dropped to 1-12 since winning at Charlotte on Dec. 9. The Lakers (11-27) are in last place in the Western Conference.

Dwight Howard had 15 points and 10 rebounds while the Hornets had little trouble staying ahead of the Lakers after the opening minutes. Charlotte took a 16-point lead in the first half and stretched it to 21 in the third quarter.

The Lakers’ faithful fans are even growing frustrated in what looks like a fifth consecutive losing season. They booed the Lakers after Lamb’s uncontested alley-oop dunk on a fast break put the Hornets up by 25 early in the fourth quarter.