TV: NBA TV
- The Lakers suddenly have plenty of depth at point guard with the return of Steve Blake tonight against the visiting Hornets. Blake has missed the last 37 games with a lower abdominal injury that required surgery, but has been deemed fit to return. Who will get the backup minutes behind starter Steve Nash is still to be determined. Darius Morris and Chris Duhon have alternated in that role, with the latter getting most of the minutes lately. The season began with Blake as Nash’s backup but for nearly two months earlier this season neither was available, as Nash was nursing a fracture in his lower leg.
- Eric Gordon will face the Lakers for the first time as a member of the Hornets. Gordon played his first three seasons in the NBA with the Clippers before coming to New Orleans in the blockbuster trade that brought Chris Paul to L.A. as a member of the Clippers. Gordon played just nine games last season because of a right knee injury, then missed the first 29 games this season recuperating from lingering issues with the same knee. Gordon has scored in double digits in 11 of the 13 games since his return and the Hornets are 8-5 in those games. Gordon is shooting 39.9 percent from the field, but is at 47 percent over the last seven games.
- With a season-high 14 assists in each of the last two games, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant passed Hall of Famer Michael Jordan for 36th on the all-time assist list. Bryant has never had 35 or more helpers over a three-game stretch during his 17-year career.
– Dan Arritt