Hornets confident as they prepare to host Lakers

If Pau Gasol can't get comfortable in a city once ruled by his native Spain, the Los Angeles Lakers could be in for a long series.

The Hornets already are showing signs of making the first round of the playoffs more than a mere formality for the two-time defending champs, having seized home advantage with a 1-1 split of the series' first two games in Los Angeles.

Four-time All-Star Chris Paul and his upstart squad will be back home for Friday night's Game 3, which perhaps not-so-coincidentally sold out soon after Paul led the Hornets to an upset victory in the opening game of the best-of-seven series.

Gasol, who averaged nearly 19 points this season, has made only 4 of 19 shots in the first two playoff games against New Orleans.