GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score New Orleans Hornets 24 18 31 33 106
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 25 29 29 28 111

border-spacing="5"> Post Game: Mike D'Antoni | Kobe Bryant | Dwight Howard | Steve Nash | Earl Clark
Game Highlights: Clark Dunk | Hornets vs. Lakers: First Half | Ball Movement
                                                Clark Down the Lane | Steal of the Night

Lakers edge Hornets 111-106 for 3rd straight win


Posted Jan 30 2013 1:00AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Dwight Howard scored 24 points, Kobe Bryant had 14 points and 11 assists in another pass-first performance, and the Los Angeles Lakers hung on to beat the New Orleans Hornets 111-106 Tuesday night for their first three-game winning streak in five weeks.

Earl Clark had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers, whose 18-point lead with 5 1/2 minutes to play dwindled to 102-101 with 2 minutes left before Clark and Steve Nash hit big shots to clinch Los Angeles' ninth straight win over New Orleans.

Eric Gordon scored 18 of his 25 points in the first half for the Hornets, who were all but finished before making a 16-2 run in an electric 2 1/2-minute stretch. New Orleans got within one point on Greivis Vasquez's running jumper, but Clark hit an inside layup and Nash buried a 3-pointer with 1:21 to play.

Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited


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Points Gordon (NOH), 25
Rebounds Clark, 12
Assists Vasquez, 15
Steals Howard, 5
Blocks Howard, 4


Mike D'Antoni:

On second half:
“I thought we shut down the second half. Our second group came in there and did a good job. We got 18 points. A lot of it was that we were just going real easy. When you do that you have the temptation of, oh, we’ll just outscore them tonight, and it gets you in trouble.”

On second unit:
“Earl is playing and he is very loud. I thought he played great. I thought Earl, Jodie, Antawn, Pau when he was in there and Steve Blake all gave us good minutes. There are really good things to take out of this. Our second group played really well tonight. That’s something that is going to be really important while going forward.”

On if the team is playing differently than he expected:
“It’s exactly how we are playing. I didn’t know Earl Clark. I didn’t know Kobe could be so devastating that way. I didn’t have Steve Blake for a long time. I didn’t know Jodie Meeks at all. It took a while to trust them, get to know them, play with them and see what fits. I didn’t know Metta was such a good forward. There are a lot of things that I didn’t know so I’m pretty pleased right now.”

On Steve Blake being back:
“I thought he was great. I liked his quickness and his toughness on the ball. He got four assists and you can just see that the team is going to roll with him. He’s a smart player.”

Kobe Bryant:

On whether or not he was happy the team got the win or mad that the team nearly blew an 18 point lead in the 4th quarter:
“A little bit of both. They did a good job though. They did a good job of moving pieces around. If you watch the film they really did a good job of putting our defense into different positions every time down the floor. They did a good job with their spacing and movement so it was pretty much an executional thing that we just had to make an adjustment to.”

On if his recent style of play as more of a facilitator is less taxing on his body:
“Yeah it’s a lot easier. I can focus on other things. But yeah absolutely it’s more of a relaxing game for me.”

On the team’s defense and if the offensive success is leading to defensive success:
“I mean perhaps a little bit, but honestly the last three games we really have done a better job strategically watching film and coming up with a blueprint that we feel like will be effective throughout the course of the game, and not only coming up with one but coming up with several that way we can make changes throughout the course of the ballgame.”

On how he’s enjoying his recent style of play and his Magic Johnson like statistics:
“I’m really enjoying it, you know people forget Magic [Johnson] was my first idol. He like was my muse you know what I mean. My dad was 6’10 and I thought I was going to be 6’9 so I tried to do everything he could do and then I realized my growth spurt stopped at 6’5 and it was pretty much through for me after that.”

Earl Clark

On his assist to Steve Nash at the end of the game:
“Yeah I just tried to create space and I know that Ryan Anderson was closing out so I just tried to get to the middle kick it out to a great shooter and he knocked it down.”

On the Hornets’ late run:
“I think we let up on defense a little bit you know [we had] unnecessary turnovers and that’s something we got to get better at and contain the lead and just keep with it.”

On the teams overall performance:
“I think we’re moving the ball well and we’ve got great weapons on our team. We’re moving the ball, we’re rebounding and we’re playing defense and our defense wasn’t too great tonight because we let them back in the game but we’re moving in the right direction.”

Antawn Jamison:

On the game:
“I have been in a lot of situations where you try to have an adjustment, but for some reason it doesn’t happen or it takes a lot more, but the one thing about this team is that we are veterans. We have been in a lot of scenarios before and we know how to adjust quickly and wehave been able to do that on both ends of the floor.”

On Dwight Howard:
“He leads what we do defensively. He brings the energy. He is out there causing turn overs. Of course we know what he does inside the paint, but defensively we go as he goes, so he is a defensive player the last couple of years and you can see how much better we are when he plays with that energy on the defensive end.”

On Kobe Bryant:
“He makes the game so much easier. He demands so much attention and for him to come out there and draw that double team and draw their attention, and then to be unselfish enough to find guys like myself and Earl to make easy plays. That is the true meaning of an MVP. Knowing when to adjust your gae and get your teammates involved as well.”

Pau Gasol:

On the game:
“We as a team realized, and certain individuals realized, that we have to play the right way. We have to be unselfish. We have to hit the open guy and that will help us be the team we need to be.”

“You have better energy defensively. You have better balance defensively. There are not as many run outs. There are not long shots, long rebounds, forced shots. All that gives you balance and also when we make the right play offensive, then we are ore likely to do the right thing defensively.”

Dwight Howard:

On his and Kobe Bryant's play and the team’s performance:
“We’re doing a good job of not being selfish and of doing whatever we can to help our team win and we’re just playing a lot better and things are clicking for us a little bit. Our offense is a lot smoother and on defense we’re really holding each other accountable, we’re rotating. We have lapses sometimes but for the most part we’ve been doing a pretty good job.”

On letting the Hornets back in the game:
“At this point the only thing that matters is a win. We have to do a better job of putting teams away, but that’s something we’ll learn moving forward. The biggest thing is winning.”

On the team’s overall performance:
“Everybody came in with energy from the beginning of the game to the end. We played as hard as we can and that’s what got us a win.”

Monty Williams:

On what hurts the most about the way the game played out:
“When you play against a team like that, you can’t have a second quarter like we had. In the second half we scored 64 points and didn’t turn the ball over. They had 50 rebounds, and we missed a lot of easy shots tonight. They won the game, but I feel good about the way our guys played in the first, the third, and the fourth. You have second quarters like that, but we don’t want to give up 29 points. We certainly fought the whole game. Our young guys grew up tonight, and we had a chance to win. It’s just one of those things; the NBA is a cruel league. A lot of our guys didn’t have the game they’ve been having for whatever reason, but we did have the kind of output, effort, and intensity in the second half to compete against a team like that. I don’t want to take anything away from them; they beat us and they made plays down the stretch. Without looking at film, I thought dribble penetration hurt us tonight especially Antawn Jamison and his ability to catch and go to the basket, and Earl Clark catching and going to the basket in rotations. But, I thought our guys did a good job of making adjustments in pick-and-roll coverages, and we did that in the second half and played a lot better.”

On what went wrong tonight:
“I just thought we didn’t get the stop that we needed. When Kobe [Bryant] was on the baseline and made a desperation pass and Earl Clark happened to be in the right spot and made a layup; that stuff happens. You know me; I’m always going to go to the defensive end. Our rotations weren’t great, and I thought when [Steve] Nash knocked down that three we just weren’t sharp in our rotations. They put Kobe [Bryant] in isolation, [Steve] Nash was the next guy and you know he’s going to knock that down. That’s why he’s a hall of fame guy. I need to look at the film before I start pointing to possessions. But, again, I thought our guys fought, and we’re going to need it again tomorrow.”

On Eric Gordon’s play:
“Eric [Gordon] is OK. I think he has to be a bit more forceful. He’s hard to guard off the dribble, he’s getting close to understanding what we want to do on defense, and it’s going to come. This is his training camp, I think he’s going to start to come out of it here soon, but he’s still getting into game shape. We don’t practice the way you normally would at this time of the year, so he’s not getting the conditioning he needs to get to a high level, but he’s doing a real good job. He’s normally double teamed every night, so that makes it hard for him to put up the numbers he can put up, but if you guard him one-on-one you’re going to be in trouble.”

Eric Gordon:

On tonight’s performance:
“We just didn’t get enough stops towards the end. We were just going back and forth scoring and we just needed a few more stops towards the end but we should have got it going early as far as scoring wise in the beginning. We just weren’t in a good rhythm early on but we stuck in there and battled it out and it was good to get a good run like that towards the end of the game.”

On playing the Utah Jazz tomorrow:
“Well, that’s always a tough place to play in and I’m pretty sure they’re going to (crank) it up against us tomorrow and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Anthony Davis:

On tonight’s performance:
“We battled but we got to play defense the whole 48, took plays off, you know, against a team like this who make big plays and have a lot of playmakers. We can’t afford to take plays off, they’re going to take advantage of it so we got to find a way to play defense the whole 48 minutes. We do that and we’ll do just fine.”

On defensive communication:
“That’s part of it. Part of it was we just weren’t in the right place or we were just too late helping over so guys are getting open shots, so its half of it”

Greivis Vasquez:

On their defensive performance:
“That’s not an excuse, that’s our identity as a team. If we don’t do that night in and night out, it’s going to be hard for us to win games and we got to do it. We have no choice if we want to win games. If we want to continue to grow as a team, we have to play defense.”

On going to play the Utah Jazz tomorrow:
“That’s not an excuse, that’s our identity as a team. If we don’t do that night in and night out, it’s going to be hard for us to win games and we got to do it. We have no choice if we want to win games. If we want to continue to grow as a team, we have to play defense.”

On guarding Kobe Bryant:
“It’s always a special assignment against him. He’s the best player in the league. You got to double team him, rotate defensively, I mean he’s done it. He’s seen every defense, he’s seen everything in the league, so you know that’s a big time caliber player.”




Posted Jan 28 2013 11:27PM

After months of trying, the Los Angeles Lakers feel they might have finally found the right formula.

The Lakers will test that out again and try to secure their longest win streak since Christmas on Tuesday night against the visiting New Orleans Hornets.

Los Angeles (19-25) has struggled for much of this season on how best to use its superstars. Lately, the Lakers have tried to get a more well-rounded performance out of Kobe Bryant and more scoring from point guard Steve Nash.

They've also continued to keep Pau Gasol out of the starting lineup.

Bryant had 14 assists and finished one rebound shy of a triple-double for the second straight game while scoring a team-best 21 points in a 105-96 win over Oklahoma City on Sunday.

"We're doing a good job right now of just being real with each other and holding each other accountable," said Bryant, one of the most vocal during a players-only meeting Wednesday before a 106-93 loss in Memphis. "That makes a huge difference. I'm trying to evolve and find out what we need as a ballclub."

Nash scored 17 points, one shy of matching his season high set Jan. 21 in Chicago, and Gasol had 16. Nash is averaging 14.6 points on 51.0 percent shooting over his last five games after scoring 10.4 per contest in his first 15 for the Lakers.

With those players' help, Los Angeles has topped 100 points and shot better than 53.0 percent in back-to-back games after averaging 92.3 points on 42.0 percent shooting in its previous four.

"We've found something that works, that's for sure, and something we can feel good about," Gasol said. "I think the way we are playing, we can be very successful."

The Lakers might get a stiff challenge during a season-high seven-game trip that begins Wednesday but first, they'll try to continue their dominance over the Hornets (15-29).

Los Angeles has won eight consecutive matchups and six straight at home. It had little trouble pulling away from New Orleans in a 103-87 road win Dec. 5 despite injuries to Gasol (knees) and Nash (shin). Bryant had 29 points and became the fifth player to surpass 30,000 in that victory.

Ryan Anderson had 31 points for the Hornets but only two other players reached double figures with Greivis Vasquez and Robin Lopez scoring a combined 31.

Anderson's efforts in the opener of a five-game road trip, however, led to a victory. He scored 22 points off the bench and made seven 3-pointers as the Hornets topped Memphis 91-83 on Sunday.

"He was huge for us," said Vasquez, who finished with 11 assists. "This man is an underrated shooter. People don't give him enough credit. This guy can shoot."

The win helped New Orleans avoid its first three-game skid since a season-worst string of 11 losses that began with the defeat to the Lakers and ended Dec. 22.

The Hornets will next try to deny Los Angeles its first three-game win streak since a season-best five consecutive victories Dec. 14-25.

Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

Probable Starters .
  #15 World Peace SF #0 Aminu  
  #6 ClarkPF #23 Davis  
  #12 Howard C #15 Lopez  
  #24 Bryant SG #10 Gordon  
  #10 Nash PG #21 Vasquez  


Lakers Steve Blake
(abdominal surgery) is out.
Jordan Hill
(torn labrum, left hip/herniated disc) is out.
Dwight Howard
(torn labrum, right shoulder) is probable.

12/05 - LAL 103 @ NOH 87
01/29 - NOH @ LAL
03/06 - LAL @ NOH
04/09 - NOH @ LAL