With the series tied 2-2, the underdog Hornets hope to steal another win in L.A. tonight against the Lakers. Tip-off for Game 5 tonight is set for 9:30. Here is more of a game preview from the AP and espn.com.

Sure, the Lakers have been here before while playing 67 postseason games over the previous three years. But the dilemma posed by the Hornets is unique.

For one thing, few players in recent playoff years have carved up the Lakers' defense as thoroughly as Chris Paul is doing it in this series. Paul, who destroyed Los Angeles with 33 points and 14 assists in Game 1, is averaging 25.5 points, 11.5 assists and 7 rebounds per game after putting up the first triple-double ever posted against the Lakers in 712 playoff games during New Orleans' win in Game 4.

For another, Kobe Bryant is limping on a sprained left ankle that might be a bit more serious than the countless injuries he has managed through in the past few seasons. After getting ice and massage during the Lakers' flight home, which landed about 3:30 a.m. local time Monday, he refused any further treatment, preferring to head into Game 5 without knowing the full extent of his latest injury.


If the Hornets are going to win another one in L.A., they will need Chris Paul to duplicate his performance from Games 1 and 4. The Lakers had no answer for the 4-time all-star point guard on Easter Sunday.