Los Angeles Lakers vs. New Orleans Hornets
The Los Angeles Lakers are 5-point road favorites as they take on the New Orleans Hornets in game 6. The over/under point total for the game is set at 184.
For the first time this series, the New Orleans Hornets looked completely outmatched against the Los Angeles Lakers in game five, as the defending champs took control of the series with a dominant 106-90 home victory. In a balanced scoring effort, six Lakers finished in double digits in scoring with Kobe Bryant leading the way with an efficient 19 points, while Andrew Bynum chipped in with 18 points and 10 boards as both teams shot 49.3 percent from the field. However, the deciding factor in this game was the Lakers’ dominance in the paint, as they outrebounded the Hornets by 42-25, including 15 offensive boards compared to two from the Hornets.
For the Hornets, Chris Paul led the way with 20 points and 12 assists, while Marco Belinelli and Trevor Ariza chipped in with 21 and 22 points respectively while combining for eight of 10 of the Hornets’ made three pointers. Coach Monty Williams will hope to get more out of Carl Landry for game six, as he allowed Pau Gasol to have his strongest game, while scoring just eight points compared to his average of 19.5 points in game three and four.
Head to head, the Lakers own the edge as they are 5-2 against the spread in the last seven meetings in New Orleans, while the over is 4-1 in the last five meetings. Also, the Lakers are 22-4 when trying to close out a series in game six.
The Hornets have been inspirational in their performances all series against the Lakers and with their season on the line, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they can force a game seven tonight. However, the Lakers look like they have finally shifted a gear and controlling the paint like they should be, so while I don’t think this will be a popular pick, I’m going with the Lakers to clinch the series tonight and I’ll take them minus the 5-points.
Los Angeles Lakers -5 New Orleans Hornets