Video Credit: NBA

FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs. Hornets – Game 55


The Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Hornets were both massively undermanned, leading to a down-to-the-wire contest with production coming from unlikely sources. In the end, it was the Lakers who came out on top, winning 101-93 and closing out their road trip at 4-3


Lakers vs Hornets
Photo Credit: At The Hive

The Lakers began the game ice cold from the field, hitting just two of their first 10 shots. This included an 0-for-6 start from 3-point range. Two layups — one by Kyle Kuzma and one from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope — were all the Lakers had in the first five minutes, as they trailed 11-4 at the 7:06 mark of the first.

Caldwell-Pope hit the Lakers first three on their ninth attempt as a team, and it was quickly followed by an Alex Caruso triple on the ensuing possession. With 2:40 to go in the first, the Lakers held a slim 18-17 lead.

L.A. had control of the game for the latter half of the first quarter as they were able to turn a seven-point deficit into a three-point lead. After one, the Lakers had 25 to the Hornets’ 22.

The second quarter started very similarly to the first, as it was all Hornets while the Lakers struggled to hit shots. Turnovers and missed shots held them to just three points in the first two and a half minutes. Meanwhile, the Hornets offense was on fire, giving them a 35-28 lead with 9:28 to go.


Jalen McDaniels was leading the way for the Hornets, scoring 14 points on six consecutive makes. For the Lakers, it was Alfonzo McKinnie keeping them alive, scoring eight points in the second quarter. Exactly like the first quarter, the Lakers used a late run to take control of the game. By halftime, L.A. had erased a nine-point lead to hold a 52-50 lead.


Lakers vs Hornets
Photo Credit: Jacob Kupferman / Getty Images

Kyle Kuzma — who began heating up towards the end of the first half — got himself to 20 points early in the third quarter. The Lakers had several chances to take control of the game but allowed the Hornets to hang around through it all. At the 5:16 mark, it was 64-62, with L.A. staying up by two.

For the third consecutive quarter, the Lakers turned up the energy near the end to put themselves in the driver’s seat. Heading into the fourth and final quarter, it was L.A. ahead by 10, 76-66.

The Hornets struck quickly in the fourth, hitting back-to-back threes to cut the gap to four. The Lakers responded extremely well, going on a 10-3 run to put Charlotte in serious trouble down the stretch. With 7:06 left in the game, it was 86-75 in favor of the Lakers.

The Lakers maintained a solid advantage, but the Hornets continued to hang around thanks to a true team effort, especially on the boards. Going into the final 3:43 of the game, the Lakers led 89-82.

Out of a timeout, the Hornets blitzed the Lakers to cut the gap to just a single point. They were able to respond to everything L.A. threw at them, but an Alex Caruso three made it a 95-91 game with 43.3 seconds remaining.

It was smooth sailing from there, as the Lakers grabbed a 101-93 win to finish 4-3 on their road trip.


Lakers News and Notes:


Lakers vs Hornets
Photo Credit: WNCT

For the first time this season, the Los Angeles Lakers are set to welcome fans back in attendance in Staples Center beginning April 15 against the Boston Celtics. The arena released new health and safety guidelines to adhere to.

With coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in California declining and the number of vaccinated individuals rising, the Lakers, along with the other three NBA teams in the state, began to make plans for in-person attendance, something they hadn’t permitted all season for safety measures.

For the contest against the Celtics Thursday night, there will be about 2,000 fans in attendance to maintain limited capacity, and that figure may increase the further the days move along if no setbacks materialize.

As part of the guidelines, Staples Center requires proof of health verification for anyone with tickets for the specific game. The verification includes showing a photo I.D. and one of either a proof of full vaccination — which occurs two weeks after your final dose — or a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test result within 72 hours of when the event is scheduled.

Before entering, guests with tickets are asked to have their tickets ready on their mobile devices.

When inside the building, a face covering is required for anyone over the age of two and must cover both the nose and mouth interminably. The arena does not allow gaiters, bandanas, or coverings with exhalation vents for additional safety precautions. If donning a face shield, a covering must also be on inside it. If a guest cannot wear the proper covering, they will not be granted access to the event.

Social distancing of six feet between individuals not from the same household is also required. The arena will have spacing indicators and signage spread throughout the interior to remind and maintain that distance.

Also scattered throughout the building are touchless hand sanitizing stations, faucets, paper towel dispensers, and soap dispensers. Staples Center recommends cleaning your hands often for 20 seconds.

The venue is also forbidding bags and purses, regardless of the size. Examples include backpacks, clutches, totes, clear bags, and camera bags. However, wallets with chains or straps are permitted.

Staples Center is also going cashless, so cash is no longer allowed. However, debit and credit cards are allowed, along with contactless and mobile payment methods. If those aren’t possible, the arena has “Cash to Card” conversion kiosks available around the building and are free to use.

If planning to order any food or drinks, you will have to utilize the QR code provided at the concession stand or at your seat. A text message will be sent when the order is prepared. Then you must head to the pickup location to receive your meal and consume it at a designated eating area located in the building, but not at your seat. No food or beverages are allowed in the seating area.

Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss also recently announced the big date for when the franchise can finally witness the most recent collection to the already impressive room of accolades.

The Lakers will unveil the championship banner won during the Orlando bubble on May 12 when the Houston Rockets come into Staples Center.

Buss cited the fans returning to the arena as one of the chief reasons for the highly anticipated announcement.

Staples Center also prohibits smoking as a smoke-free venue.


The Lakers head home to Staples Center and welcome back Laker Nation when they take on the Boston Celtics on Thursday. Tip-off is at 7:00 pm and the game can be seen on TNT and Spectrum SportsNet.

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-Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

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