THE FACTS: Kobe Bryant surpassed 30,000 career points with a basket in the first half, and the Los Angeles Lakers earned their second road win of the season as he finished with 29 points in a 103-87 win over the New Orleans Hornets Wednesday night.
Bryant kept the Lakers (9-10) in the game in the first half, scoring 17 before halftime while his teammates struggled to get going.
New Orleans (5-12) played like a team with confidence in the first half, defending the Lakers on every move to the basket on its way to a halftime lead. But the Hornets' youth showed itself in the opening of the second half and the veteran Lakers took over.
Ryan Anderson did his best to keep the Hornets going, scoring 31 points while grabbing nine rebounds. And Robin Lopez added 15 points and five blocked shots. He picked up his fourth foul early in the third quarter, however, and barely contributed thereafter.
Dwight Howard added 18 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots in the Lakers' win.
QUOTABLE: "Irony. It's funny how sports always seems to kind of have that connectivity in some shape, form or fashion. It just always seems to come full circle."
-- Kobe Bryant, speaking about scoring his 30,000th career point against the team that drafted him
THE STAT: 13-for-28. Los Angeles shot 46.4 percent from 3-point range, including 5-for-12 in the first half. That kept the Lakers in the game after shooting 36 percent in first quarter. The Lakers' prowess from beyond the arc was better than the Hornets normally allow (40 percent). In fact, the Lakers hit six more 3-pointers than the Hornets, providing a big difference in the game.
TURNING POINT: The Lakers had trouble scoring in the first quarter and had a tough time stopping the Hornets in the second. Neither were a problem in the third quarter. Los Angeles opened the frame on a 13-0 run. Bryant and Howard had five points apiece during the run, which was started 42 seconds into the quarter on an Antawn Jamison 3-pointer.
QUOTABLE II: "Just because we're up at halftime doesn't mean the game is already won. We came out loose and they ran it right up our throats. They killed us in the beginning part of the third quarter."
-- Hornets forward Lance Thomas on the 13-0 run that separated the Lakers from New Orleans in the third quarter
HOT: Lopez has been on a tear the past two games for the Hornets. This week, he has gone 15-for-19, scoring 36 points in two games. Against the Lakers, he finished 7-for-9 and added five blocked shots, helping the Hornets remain in the game.
NOTABLE: Bryant became just the fifth player to reach 30,000 points and the youngest to do it, getting there quicker than Wilt Chamberlain. ... Metta World Peace nearly recorded his first double-double of the season, ending with 11 points and nine rebounds. ... The Hornets tied a season-low for bench points with 16. Half of those came from Xavier Henry, who finished with eight points and tied a career-high with six rebounds. ... New Orleans has lost eight consecutive games to the Lakers.
UP NEXT: For the Hornets, Friday vs. Memphis, Saturday @ Miami, Tuesday vs. Washington. For the Lakers, Friday @ Oklahoma City, Sunday vs. Utah, Tuesday @ Cleveland.