Lakers escape Charlotte with road win

Kyle Kuzma scores 24 points for L.A.
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Looking fatigued playing in the second of back-to-back games on the last contest of a seven-game road swing, the Los Angeles Lakers survived a late-game surge by the Charlotte Hornets to take a 101-93 victory back home to the West Coast.

The Lakers shot just 41.5 percent from the field but made 16 of 44 (36 percent) from the 3-point line to secure the victory.

Los Angeles improved to 34-21 on the year and finished an impressive 4-3 on a seven-game road swing in 12 days without the services of LeBron James (right high-ankle sprain) and Anthony Davis (calf strain).

Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 24 points and four rebounds. Dennis Schroder added 19 points and six assists.

Devonte’ Graham led the Hornets with 19 points and six assists. The Hornets dropped to 27-26 on the year.

Top player: Alex Caruso made a couple clutch plays at the end of the game, finishing with 13 points and six assists.

What I liked: The Lakers finished with just 11 turnovers.

What I didn’t like: The Hornets led the Lakers in paint points, 50-32.

Injuries: Kuzma (calf), Wesley Matthews (Achilles), Andre Drummond (left elbow) and Marc Gasol (hamstring) were all available for Tuesday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets. Alfonzo McKinnie was cleared of the league’s health and safety protocols and available to play. Markieff Morris, who rolled his left ankle in the opening quarter of Monday’s loss to the New York Knicks, was ruled out. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope suffered back spasms in the first half, went to the locker room for treatment and returned to the game.

They said it: “The key for us is to build that habit of playing good every time out on the floor, no matter the lineup. No matter who’s out there and how long we’ve played together. Playing hard is a skill we can do every night, and I think it’s a skill that we’re going to continue to work on.” – Alex Caruso on how the Lakers played during the seven-game road trip.