L.A. Lakers 106, New Orleans 98
NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 9 (Ticker) -- Kobe Bryant
was looking for a little
help. Caron Butler
and Lamar Odom
apparently heard his plea.
Bryant scored 31 points before fouling out, Butler added 23 and
nine rebounds and Odom keyed a decisive second-quarter run as
the Los Angeles Lakers held on for a 106-98 victory over the New
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In Los Angeles' loss to San Antonio on Friday, it was clear
Bryant was going to need more help from his supporting cast.
Averaging just under 30 points per contest this season, Bryant
had another big night from the free-throw line, sinking all 14
of his attempts.
But unlike the opening week of the season, when Los Angeles lost
two of three games, Bryant got help from his teammates.
"When they double-teamed Kobe, guys stepped up and started
making shots," Butler said. "They double-teamed Lamar, guys
stepped up and made shots. We got out in transition, we ran our
"I had confidence in my guys to go out and execute and get the
job done," said Bryant, who had not fouled out since the 2002
playoffs. "I'm not the type to really get too nervous. I know
we work hard. I know we're prepared."
Bryant expressed confidence in this group of Lakers and admitted
that everyone is going to go through rough patches here and
"I think (the support from teammates) been great since the start
of preseason," Bryant added. "We're all going to have our ups
and downs, including myself, but it's all on us as a unit to do
whatever's necessary to defeat our opponent."
added a season-high 18 points, Butler kept the
Lakers in the game early and Odom had six of his 12 points in a
17-4 spurt just before the half. That spurt turned a 35-31
advantage into a 17-point bulge, and the Lakers never trailed
scored 23 points and Jamaal Magliore
added 18 and 11
rebounds for the Hornets, who fell to 0-4 for just the second
time in franchise history. In the 1989-90 season, when the
franchise was located in Charlotte, the Hornets also started
New Orleans did not quit in this contest despite trailing,
87-56, entering the fourth quarter. A furious rally got the
Hornets with 98-91 with 1:40 to go before Butler had a layup
that ignited a 6-0 spurt.
"I didn't have to say anything when I came into the locker
room," Lakers coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "Some veterans were
talking about how we've got to do a better job. Our starters
could've gotten rested today, but we let (the Hornets) back in
the game. I couldn't have said it better."
The Lakers' starters may have welcomed the additional rest as
Tuesday kicked off a stretch of four road games in five nights.
Davis was in no mood for moral victories.
"A loss is a loss," Davis said. "We've just got to figure it
out. There's no way we should've played the way we did the
first three quarters. We should've played the first quarter the
way we played the fourth quarter and set the tone."
Butler made 10-of-14 shots for the second straight game. He
excelled despite a tender left ankle, which he twisted in the
third quarter Sunday against Atlanta.
"It's still a little tender," Butler said. "(The trainer) just
put a little cushion on it. I ran around with it, felt a little
better, and I started to go."
During the second and third quarters, the Lakers outscored the
Hornets, 63-34. During a 12 1/2-minute span, New Orleans made
just 2-of-22 shots.