Los Angeles (2-2) at New Orleans (0-3)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: New Orleans, LA
Temp: 63° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Tue Nov 9, 2004
  • TV: KCAL
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The New Orleans Hornets’ transition to the Western Conference has not gone too smoothly.

The Hornets will try again for their first win of the season as they host the Los Angeles Lakers.

An 0-3 start isn’t what New Orleans had hoped for after being shuffled from the Eastern Conference to the deep Southwest Division after realignment in the offseason.

It will be much more difficult for the Hornets to qualify for the playoffs in the talent-laden Western conference. Especially without small forward Jamal Mashburn, who will miss the entire season due to a knee injury.

The Hornets have yet to respond to Byron Scott, their third coach in as many years.

David Wesley and Baron Davis each had 21 points and Davis added 12 assists in New Orleans’ 99-92 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday. The Wolves held a 44-31 edge in rebounding.

“It’s been our bread and butter since I’ve been here,” Hornets forward P.J. Brown said. “So far this year it hasn’t, but it’s early. Some things need to change.”

New Orleans, 29th in the NBA with 36.3 rebounds a game after averaging 45.5 last season, will now face a Lakers team struggling for consistency after major offseason changes.

Kobe Bryant had 24 points, six assists and five rebounds, and Caron Butler shot 10-of-14 and scored 22 points to lead Los Angeles to a 106-90 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night.

Butler’s outburst came after totaling 26 points in his first three games for the Lakers.

“I was just running the floor. My teammates were finding me,” Butler said. “Obviously they are going to collapse on Kobe and Lamar (Odom) and I am going to get a lot of open looks. I was knocking them down. I think I’m at my best in transition. We got up-and-down—that’s our offense.”

Butler came to the Lakers from Miami along with Odom and Brian Grant in the offseason trade that sent Shaquille O’Neal to the Heat.

“For him, it’s just about getting comfortable and getting into a flow,” Bryant said of the 24-year-old Butler.

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