Lakers Gameday | 11/06/07 | Hornets 118, Lakers 104
Paul Dishes Out 21 Assists in Hornets Win Over Lakers
By KEN PETERS, AP Sports Writer
Peja Stojakovic made a franchise-record 10 3-pointers, and Chris Paul established another Hornets team mark with 21 assists Tuesday night in New Orleans' 118-104 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Stojakovic missed just three of 13 shots from behind the arc and finished with 36 points. He was just 2-of-8 shooting two-pointers. The Hornets went 14-of-25 on 3-pointers.
Paul had 19 points to go with his assists. David West added 22 points for the Hornets as they ran their record to 4-0 to tie their best start, set last season.
Kobe Bryant had 28 points for Los Angeles, taking just 20 shots and making 11 of them. He also had seven assists and six rebounds. Ronny Turiaf had 15 points and seven rebounds, and Andrew Bynum had 13 rebounds.
Stojakovic's 3-point bonanza rewrote the Hornets' record of eight, set by David Wesley in 2002. The former team mark for assists was 19 by Muggsy Bogues in 1989.
Stojakovic hit three consecutive 3-pointers to close out the third quarter as New Orleans opened an 89-80 lead and stayed in front the rest of the way. He scored 17 in the period, including going 5-of-7 from behind the arc.
Bryant took as many shots in the third quarter, seven, as he had in the entire first half, making four of them and scoring 10 points.
Los Angeles was without Kwame Brown, who sat out the game with bursitis in his right heel. Brown, averaging 5.7 points and 7.3 rebounds this season, said he expects to be able to play on Friday when the Lakers host Minnesota.
New Orleans never trailed in the first half, although Bryant made three free throws to draw the Lakers even at 55 with 9 seconds remaining in the second quarter after they trailed by 12 early in the period.
But Paul responded with a short jumper with 1.1 seconds before halftime left to give the Hornets a 57-55 lead at the break.
Notes: Los Angeles F Lamar Odom, who has been recuperating from shoulder surgery, is slated to make his season debut on Friday. ... The average price of a Lakers season ticket is $89.24, an increase of 4.5 percent from last season and the highest in the NBA, according to Team Marketing Report's survey. The average ticket in the NBA is $48.83, and the Hornets, in their first season in New Orleans, charge a league-low $24.58. ... New Orleans coach Byron Scott was a guard for the Lakers when Bryant came straight out of high school to join them. "Kobe was the one who was in the back of the bus reading Time Magazine,'' Scott said. "He wasn't reading the sports pages. So you could tell from a mental standpoint that he was a little bit farther ahead than an 18-year-old, and he already had goals and knew what he wanted to do. He point-blank told be one day when I asked him `How do you want to be perceived in this league?' he said, `I want to be the best player in this league.' I think he's been able to accomplish that goal.''Copyright 2007 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
By MATT BECKER, STATS Writer
Behind a red-hot offense, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers have been rolling along. The New Orleans Hornets, meanwhile, owe an improved defense to their undefeated start.
Bryant and the Lakers try to win their third straight on Tuesday when they host the Hornets, who are looking to match the best start in franchise history.
After losing to Houston 95-93 in their season opener last Tuesday, Los Angeles has scored 119 points in each of its last two games - both wins.
The Lakers (2-1) defeated defending Pacific Division champion Phoenix by 21 points on Friday, and beat reigning Northwest Division champ Utah 119-109 on Sunday.
Los Angeles connected on 55.8 percent of its shots against the Jazz, and ranks among the best shooting teams in the league at 51.7 percent.
"We're playing the right way," said Jordan Farmar, who had 12 points Sunday. "We're not (just) getting wins, so everything is good. ... We're playing hard defensively, we're sharing the ball, we're playing our style, we're screening for each other, we're making the extra pass. The wins are just a product of the way we're going about our business."
The Lakers have managed to put all of the trade talk surrounding Bryant behind them, and have instead been feeding off the play of the nine-time All-Star.
"Our guy starts everything," Farmar said. "Kobe is playing the right way."
Bryant finished with a game-high 33 points against the Jazz, and is averaging 31.3 points and 8.0 rebounds this season. He hit 13 of 19 shots on Sunday, and scored six points in the final 4 1/2 minutes to secure the victory.
The two-time NBA scoring champ is averaging 33.9 points in his last seven games against the Hornets. In his last appearance versus them, Bryant scored 50 points in a 111-105 victory on March 23 - the fourth straight game he had at least 50.
Despite winning the last meeting, the Lakers lost two of three to New Orleans in 2006-07 to drop the season series for the first time since 1995-96. In their only matchup at Staples Center, New Orleans handed Los Angeles one of its worst home defeats of the season, 105-89 on Dec. 6.
The Lakers, though, have won nine of their last 11 home games over the Hornets.
New Orleans (3-0) is coming off a 93-88 victory over Denver on Sunday to move within one victory of matching the franchise's best start, set last season.
The Hornets held the Nuggets to a season-low 36.7 percent shooting, and opponents are averaging 90.3 points through three games.
"Our training camp was all about improving our defense," said Chris Paul, who had 15 points and 11 assists on Sunday. "Our defense was a reason we didn't make the playoffs the last two years. We could always score with the best teams in the league. We just couldn't make defensive stops."
Paul is averaging 18.7 points and 9.7 assists this season, and in two games against Los Angeles last season, he averaged 27.0 points - his highest against any opponent.
Tyson Chandler, who had 12 points and 17 boards against Denver, had one of the best games of his career in the Hornets' loss to the Lakers last March, scoring 22 points while grabbing 22 rebounds.Copyright 2007 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
SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers lost last season’s series with New Orleans 1-2, just their third series loss since the Hornets joined the NBA in 1988-89, the previous two coming in 1993-94 and 1995-96. The Lakers are 7-3 against the Hornets in their last 10 overall games. The Lakers are 8-2 all-time against the Hornets at STAPLES Center and 5-2 against the Hornets at home since the team moved to New Orleans. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 12-5 against the Hornets. When visiting the Hornets, the Lakers are 7-3 in their last 10 road games, having lost all three following the Hornets move from Charlotte to New Orleans. Since the Hornets move to New Orleans, the Lakers have gone 3-1 at New Orleans Arena while going just 1-2 at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City during their temporary relocation. In 2006, the Lakers and Hornets took part in the city of New Orleans first professional sports game following Hurricane Katrina when they met at the New Orleans Arena March 8, 2006. The Lakers won that contest 113-107 behind 40 points from Kobe Bryant. In their most recent meeting, Bryant scored a series record 50 points, becoming just the second player in NBA history to score 50-plus points in four consecutive games. Current Hornets head coach Byron Scott played 11 seasons for the Lakers including his final NBA campaign in 1996-97 with then rookie Kobe Bryant. Additionally, current Lakers assistant coach Jim Cleamons spent the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons as an assistant coach on Scott’s staff in New Orleans.
LAKERS RESERVES’ 67 POINTS MOST IN A DECADE
RADMANOVIC HIGH SCORER FOR FIRST TIME; 13th LAKER PERFECT FROM THREE (min. 4 attempts)