Kobe Bryant's increased production on a winning streak shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
Having Andrew Bynum emerge as an offensive force in the paint is a pleasant development for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant and Bynum look to continue their impressive play as the Lakers go for a fourth win in a row by continuing their dominance of the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night.
Bryant leads the NBA with 28.9 points per game, and he's averaging 31.3 during Los Angeles' three-game winning streak.
While the 14-time All-Star continues to be the main offensive cog for the Lakers (26-16), they're also getting some surprising production from Bynum.
The center is averaging career highs of 17.6 points and 12.7 rebounds on the season, but he's been even better over the last three games. He's scoring 27.7 points per game with 13.3 boards in that stretch while hitting a remarkable 71.4 percent of his field goals.
"They're trusting me now," Bynum said of his teammates. "They're just looking to get me the ball. When I get it, I'm doing decent things with it. Cutting down the turnovers. But it's part of learning and being a dominant player."
Bynum had a season-high 37 points with 16 rebounds Tuesday while Bryant had 34 and nine, respectively, to power a 116-111 double-overtime victory at Memphis. The guard was quick to credit Bynum's 15-of-18 shooting performance, saying the Lakers have decided to run more plays through the 7-foot big man.
"The big games he had at the start of the season, he was having good games, but he wasn't being featured," Bryant said of Bynum. "This is different. We're featuring him, and we're looking for him to make plays out of double-teams, and make plays for others, not just himself."
That may not be especially difficult in the first meeting of the season with the Hornets (10-32), who are at the bottom of the Western Conference.
Bryant is averaging 29.1 points in his last nine meetings with them, while Bynum has a 16.2 average in his last five matchups.
The Lakers have won 10 of 12 versus New Orleans, sweeping the four-game season series in 2010-11. That included two visits to New Orleans Arena, the latest a 101-95 victory on Feb. 5, 2011, as Bryant scored 32 points.
The Hornets have dropped five of six overall while averaging 86.5 points.
Their most recent defeat may be the most troubling. They fell 73-71 to league-worst Charlotte on Monday after Trevor Ariza's attempted game-tying dunk in the final seconds was blocked. New Orleans didn't help itself by shooting 38.5 percent from the field.
"We came out of halftime going through the motions," Hornets coach Monty Williams said. "We should have played better than this."
Chris Kaman is hoping to improve from the field after he made 6 of 19 shots to finish with 12 points alongside 16 rebounds and three blocks Monday. That came two days after he needed 21 shots to score 20 points in a 95-89 win at Minnesota.
Kaman totaled 18 points on 9-of-19 shooting in two meetings with the Lakers last season as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Jarrett Jack, the Hornets' leader with 14.9 points and 6.1 assists per game, has also struggled versus the Lakers. The guard is averaging 6.3 points on 7-of-21 shooting with two total assists in his past three games in the series while backing up Chris Paul.