Kemba Walker had 19 points, seven assists and four steals as one of six Charlotte players to score in double digits, helping the Hornets roll to a 108-94 victory over the sinking Los Angeles Lakers on Friday at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Jeremy Lamb scored 17 points and Marvin Williams added 16 for the Hornets, who went 3-1 on a four-game road swing through California. Charlotte center Dwight Howard recorded 15 points and 10 rebounds for his 21st double-double of the season.
Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball returned from a six-game absence caused by a left shoulder injury but couldn’t prevent his team from taking its ninth consecutive loss and 12th in the past 13 games. Ball had 11 points, five assists, four rebounds and just one turnover in 27 minutes.
Brandon Ingram posted 22 points and 14 rebounds for Los Angeles. Julius Randle contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who shot just 9 of 36 from 3-point range.
Los Angeles rookie Kyle Kuzma, who entered the contest with a 17.5 scoring average, had a miserable night, finishing with just four points on 2-of-14 shooting.
The Lakers trailed by just nine points early in the third quarter before the game slipped away.
Back-to-back baskets by Michael Kidd-Gilchrist increased Charlotte’s lead to 83-68 with 5:31 remaining, and Frank Kaminsky later connected on a 3-pointer to make the margin 19 with 3:35 to play.
The Hornets led 93-76 entering the final quarter, and the lead reached 20 on two free throws by Michael Carter-Williams with 10:45 remaining. Lamb’s dunk off an alley-oop pass from Treveon Graham made it 103-78 with 8:59 left and prompted the home fans to deliver a vociferous round of boos.
Kidd-Gilchrist (13 points) and Kaminsky (12) were the other two Hornets in double digits.
Walker registered 14 points and six assists in the first half as the Hornets led 63-48 at the break.
Charlotte led by four after the opening quarter before Lamb and Carter-Williams drained 3-pointers to make it 34-24. The lead reached 50-35 when Walker knocked down a 3-pointer.
Ingram had 14 points and nine rebounds in the opening half.
—Field Level Media