Lakers Gameday | 01/09/08 | Lakers 109, Hornets 80
Bryant, Bynum, backups come up big in Lakers' victory
Kobe Bryant scored 19 points, Andrew Bynum added 17 and the Los Angeles Lakers won their fourth straight game, 109-80 over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night.
With balanced scoring and stifling defense, the Lakers turned what was supposed to be a marquee matchup between two of the NBA's hottest teams into a lopsided affair that left the home crowd groaning.
The Lakers made 54.9 percent of their shots, hitting nine 3-pointers and while outscoring New Orleans 52-36 inside.
Having won in Memphis a night earlier and facing a Hornets squad that was well-rested after winning three straight on the road last week, Los Angeles scored on its first eight possessions and led by double digits for most of the game.
The disparity in scoring among both teams' reserves was a telling sign of how well the Lakers have played in winning 10 of their last 12 games.
Los Angeles' reserves outscored the Hornets' bench 42-9. The Lakers also outrebounded New Orleans 45-40.
Chris Paul scored 32 points and David West added 19 points for New Orleans, which shot 36.9 percent.
Luke Walton scored 14 for the Lakers, while Lamar Odom added 11 and Trevor Ariza 10.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
Kobe Bryant has long been considered among the NBA's best shooting guards. It's more recently that Chris Paul has joined the same discussion regarding point guards.
Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers visit Paul's New Orleans Hornets for the first time this season on Wednesday, when two of the Western Conference's hottest teams each look for their fourth straight win.
Bryant had 28 points the last time the teams played, in Los Angeles on Nov. 6. But it was Paul's 19 points and career-high 21 assists that led the Hornets (23-11) to a 118-104 road win.
That was one of Paul's 19 double-doubles this season. He's third in the NBA with 10.3 assists per game -- behind only Steve Nash and Jason Kidd -- but he has more points and fewer turnovers per game than both those players.
In New Orleans' last game, Paul pleaded with Hornets coach Byron Scott to let him play the full 48 minutes, which he did for just the third time in his career and first time this season. His 28 points and 10 assists led the Hornets to a 118-113 win at Phoenix.
"We showed a lot of poise playing against one of the best teams in the west," Paul said. "Different guys stepped up all around and that's all we want."
They played that game without forward David West, who missed his first game of the season with a bruised hip. West is second on the team to Paul with 19.4 points per game and second to Tyson Chandler with 9.4 rebounds. Scott said he's hopeful West will return against Los Angeles.
All five starters scored at least 19 points, with Chandler totaling 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Peja Stojakovic scoring 23 points. Stojakovic made a career-high 10 3-pointers on 13 attempts and had a season-high 36 points in the November game against the Lakers.
The Hornets have won three in a row and eight of nine, but only two of those wins have come at home. They are 14-5 on the road, but only 9-6 at New Orleans Arena.
The Lakers (22-11), meanwhile, have won six of eight on the road and seven of eight overall, including a 117-101 win at Memphis on Tuesday. Bryant had 25 points but the Lakers were led by Derek Fisher, who had 26 points on 10-of-11 shooting from the field, including 5-of-5 from 3-point range. Bryant claimed Fisher should have been 10-of-10, that the miss was really supposed to be a pass.
"There's no way you can plan on shooting the basketball the way I did," Fisher said. "It just kind of happens for you."
Los Angeles is averaging 117.7 points while winning its last three games, shooting 54.6 percent from the field. The Lakers have also forced 20 or more turnovers each of the last the last two games, and scored 25 points off 20 Grizzlies turnovers Tuesday.
The Hornets took two of three from the Lakers last season, but Los Angeles won its most recent visit to New Orleans on March 23, 111-105 as Bryant scored 50 points. Paul had 28 points and 12 assists in that game.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
(Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images)
SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers trail their season series with New Orleans 0-1 after having lost last season’s series with the Hornets (1-2) for just the third time since they joined the NBA in 1988-89. The Lakers are 6-4 against the Hornets in their last 10 overall games. In their last 10 road games against the Hornets, the Lakers have gone 7-3. Since the Hornets move to New Orleans from Charlotte prior to the 2002-03 season, the Lakers have gone 4-1 at New Orleans Arena while going 0-2 at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City during their temporary relocation from 2005-07. The Lakers are 8-3 all-time against the Hornets at STAPLES Center and 5-3 against the Hornets at home since the team moved to New Orleans. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 12- 6 against the Hornets. 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 the Lakers last trip to New Orleans, Bryant scored a series record 50 points, becoming just the second player in NBA history to score 50- plus points in four consecutive games. In their most recent meeting 11/6/07, Peja Stojakovic made a Lakers opponent record 10 three-point field goals while Chris Paul became only the seventh Lakers opponent to record at least 21 assists in a game and the first since John Stockton did so in April of 1990. 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.
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Additionally, the Lakers victory at Philadelphia on December 21 marked Jackson’s 600th career game with the Lakers. Jackson ranks as the third longest tenured coach in Lakers history behind John Kundla (11 seasons, 734 games) and Pat Riley (9 seasons, 727 games).
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