Lakers Gameday | 11/08/09 | Hornets

Box Score
Play by Play

1 Year of college basketball played together at UCLA for Jordan Farmar and Hornets back up Darren Collison. Farmar's five assists helped lead to 46 bench points for L.A.

4 Blocks for D.J. Mbenga, not to mention 12 rebounds to lead L.A. in both categories in relief of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. 5 Free throws attempted by the Hornets in a first half dominated by the Lakers, showing how New Orleans largely settled for jump shots.

12
Three-pointers hit by the Lakers, eight of which came in the second half.

33.6 Kobe Bryant's scoring average so far this year, tops in the NBA.

40
Points scored in STAPLES last January by Hornets forward David West in a Hornets' win; L.A. held him to just 11 on Sunday.

Mike Trudell, Lakers.com

Bryant Leads L.A. Past N.O.

More Videos:
Kobe Bryant Postgame
DJ Mbenga Postgame
Phil Jackson Postgame



  • GAME RECAP
  • QUOTES
  • CLEAMONS PREVIEW
  • GAME PREVIEW
  • INJURY REPORT
  • GAME NOTES

Kobe gets 28 in Lakers' 5th straight win

By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES(AP) Kobe Bryant scored 28 points, Shannon Brown added 15 and the Los Angeles Lakers thrived again without their top two big men, beating the New Orleans Hornets 104-88 Sunday night.

DJ Mbenga had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the defending NBA champions, who easily won their fifth straight game and their second in a row without injured center Andrew Bynum and forward Pau Gasol.

Bryant scored all but two of his points before halftime, repeatedly capitalizing down low with ease against Devin Brown's defense. Los Angeles opened a 27-point lead in the third quarter and coasted to a 6-1 start.

Chris Paul had 15 points and nine assists for the Hornets, who made just 36.5 percent of their shots while opening a three-game West Coast road trip with their fourth loss in five games.

Bynum's strained right elbow has sidelined him for the past two games, while Gasol's strained right hamstring has kept him out since the preseason. Both will have three more days to heal before Thursday's visit from surprising Phoenix, the early Pacific Division co-leaders with Los Angeles.

Bryant scored exactly 41 points in three of the Lakers' previous four games, but the Hornets' poor shooting and often-confused defense created little reason to inspire another big game. Bryant went scoreless in the third quarter, and he sat down for good with nearly seven minutes still to play.

After leading by 17 points during the first half, Los Angeles opened the second half on a 17-3 run with two 3-pointers from Shannon Brown. The backup guard added a few rim-shaking dunks while scoring all his points after halftime.

Even Mbenga, the Lakers' backup center with only rudimentary skills, matched his career scoring high and fell one shy of his NBA rebounding best while making his fourth NBA start. Luke Walton added 11 points, while Lamar Odom had seven points, nine rebounds and six assists.

New Orleans coach Byron Scott began the trip by bumping shooting guard Morris Peterson from the starting lineup in favor of Devin Brown, who had played just eight minutes all season. Peterson started the Hornets' first six games, but made just 34.1 percent of his shots while playing defense that didn't please Scott.

"I thought it was important for these guys to know that I'm not just going to sit there and let things go the wrong way,'' Scott said before the game.

Immediately after the opening tip, Devin Brown turned the ball over to Bryant for a drive and a dunk. If Scott hoped to improve the Hornets' struggling defense, asking the smallish Devin Brown to stop Bryant's much-improved low-post game didn't work as planned.

NOTES: New Orleans didn't even dress Peterson, moving him to the inactive list. ... The Lakers are just two games into a stretch with 14 of 16 games at Staples Center. ... Anthony Kiedis and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers sat together on the baseline.

Copyright 2009 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


Lakers’ Coach Phil Jackson on his general view of tonight’s game:
“Well we had a little easier time tonight than I had anticipated. We were really prepared for a rush that they a lot of times make in the second half and they never got to that. A lot of it due to Shannon in the 3rd quarter after Kobe’s 26 point first half, they really came out to double to take the ball out of his hands and we were able to get some 3 point shots and make them.”

On Kobe’s aggressive scoring this early in the season and whether it is situational due to injury:
“Well nothing surprises me anymore. So I’m honestly not surprised at all. Well some of it certainly is. But he’s the kind of guy [where] it doesn’t matter if things are going well like that. He’s going to want the ball and make them have to come double team him, make them play him in a way… He’s been doing a good job.”

On whether there are any guards in NBA who can effectively defend Kobe:
“Well Posey is one of the guards that we obviously think can [and] has been. He’s had success in the past with Kobe. Kidd was relatively effective the other night in Dallas. That was one of the teams that has been successful.”

On whether Mbenga is an everyday NBA center:
“Physically its tough. I think he’s been stretched to the limits of what he physically can do. But running hasn’t been easy for him. He sat out almost 10 days in the start of training camp which forced me to play Pau a little more than I wanted to early in the practice sessions because we’re a little bit short handed but it’s going to be a while before he gets back to what he physically was for us last year.”

On his reserve players’ performances:
I was particularly proud of Shannon coming off and taking Fisher’s spot after a couple of tough calls and getting into foul trouble. [Shannon] was doing the things we see him do and we anticipate he can do.”


Lakers Kobe Bryant on DJ Mbenga’s first double-double:
“He is always ready, he works extremely hard and he seems to get better every game.”

On tonight’s game:
“Defensively we were very active, we stuck to the game play extremely well, and when things broke down we covered for each other.”

On team dynamics:
“We have a lot of talent and the guys are extremely selfless and that helps because when you number is called you are not going in with any attitude or pre-conceived notion you just go out there and contribute to the team.”



Lakers Shannon Brown on playing the season without Paul and Andrew:
“We practice everyday and everyone is very confident in their ability to come out and get the job done. We play as a team but at the same time we definitely can’t wait for those guys to come back. They will make it easier on everybody.”

On whether or not the Lakers have been the deepest team he has been on in the NBA:
“I think so, I think everybody is confident in their ability, and everybody knows each other and has got each other’s back. If you make a mistake it is all right just get out there and play.”

On whether or not he feels he is back from his injury:
“You are never really sure what you can do and what you are capable of when you come back from an injury.”


Lakers DJ Mbenga on his first career double-double:
“It is challenging as a basketball player, but you definitely want to remember everything you can.”







Lakers vs. Hornets Game Preview



By MATT BECKER, STATS Senior Writer

The defending champion Los Angeles Lakers have gone through the first week and a half of the season at less than full strength, relying on Kobe Bryant to carry the team.

The 11-time All-Star may be close to getting some help.

Seeking their fifth straight victory, the Lakers could have Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum back from injuries Sunday night against the sluggish New Orleans Hornets.

Gasol was instrumental to Los Angeles' championship run in 2008-09, averaging 18.9 points and 9.6 rebounds in 81 games, but has missed the team's first six contests this season because of a strained right hamstring. He has returned to practice and warmed up before Friday's 114-98 victory over Memphis but was inactive.

"I'm already frustrated," Gasol said. "This recovery has been slow for my taste. So right now I'm thinking about one day at a time and not getting ahead of myself."

Bynum also sat out Friday with a strained right elbow after averaging 20.0 points and 10.6 rebounds in five games. The injury is not considered serious, and he's expected to face New Orleans.

Last season, the 7-foot Spaniard teamed with the 7-foot Bynum to control the paint and open up the floor for Bryant.

So far this season, Bryant has been doing just fine.

He scored 41 points for the third time in four games Friday leading the Lakers (5-1) to a fourth straight victory. Bryant also became the youngest player to reach 24,000 points, reaching the milestone 38 days before Wilt Chamberlain, and overtook Grizzlies guard Allen Iverson for 16th place on the NBA's career scoring list.

Most of Bryant's baskets came on turnaround jumpers and inside moves against the undersized Memphis defenders in the low post, skills he learned from Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon over the summer.

"What can I say? This is a guy who sees a weakness in a team and exploits it," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said of Bryant.

Los Angeles took three of four from the Hornets last season. The teams split two games at Staples Center despite Bryant scoring 39 in each.

New Orleans (2-4) could have trouble slowing down Bryant again. Coming off back-to-back playoff appearances, the Hornets are off their worst start since 2005-06.

Most of New Orleans' struggles have stemmed from a defense struggling to slow down its opponents.

The Hornets, fifth in the NBA in scoring defense in 2008-09 at 94.3 points, are yielding an average of 105.5 this season. It likely won't be easy for them to come up with key stops against a Lakers team averaging 109.0 points during their winning streak.

With the defense having trouble, Chris Paul has been doing his best to carry the team, but he struggled at times in Friday's 107-90 loss to Toronto.

New Orleans led by two at halftime, but was outscored 34-14 in the third quarter. Paul had a team-high 21 points - 7.5 below his season average - and season-high 18 assists, but did not score in the third, when the Raptors hit more 3-pointers (8) than the Hornets had field goals (6).

"I saw a lack of energy," New Orleans coach Byron Scott said. "For the life of me, I can't understand why we came out without any energy.''

The Hornets, winless in three games away from New Orleans, will have to quickly harness some energy with their next three games coming on the road.

Copyright 2009 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

Lakers
Andrew Bynum (strained right elbow) is doubtful.
Pau Gasol
(right hamstring strain) is doubtful.

Mavs
Ike Diogu (strained left knee) is questionable.









Season & Series Notes: Connections
The Lakers won last season’s series with the Hornets 3-1, taking both games in New Orleans after building 19+ point halftime leads in both contests but splitting their games at STAPLES Center 1-1 with their lone win coming in overtime. In their most recent loss to the Hornets (1/6/09), David West scored a series-high 40 points for the Hornets, surpassing Baron Davis’ old mark of 37 established when the team was in Charlotte back in 2002. The Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 games against New Orleans but have won four of their last five overall meetings. The Lakers are 7-3 in their last 10 homes games against the Hornets and are 10-4 all-time against the Hornets at STAPLES Center. Since the Hornets move to New Orleans from Charlotte prior to the 2002-03 season, the Lakers have gone 7-2 at New Orleans Arena while going 0-2 at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City during their temporary relocation from 2005-07. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 17-8 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 2006-07, Bryant scored a series record 50 points 3/23/07, becoming just the second player in NBA history to score 50+ points in four consecutive games. In their first meeting of the 2007-08 season (11/6/07), Peja Stojakovic made a Lakers opponent record 10 three-point field goals while Chris Paul became only the 7th Lakers opponent to record at least 21 assists in a game and the first since John Stockton did so in April of 1990. Additionally, Hornets head coach Byron Scott played 11 seasons for the Lakers including his final NBA campaign in 1996-97 with then rookie Kobe Bryant. Lakers assistant coach Jim Cleamons spent the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons as an assistant coach on Scott’s staff in New Orleans. Hornets first round draft pick Darren Collison was teammates at UCLA for the 2005-06 season with Lakers guard Jordan Farmar during Collison’s freshman year (Farmar’s sophomore season).

BRYANT OVERTAKES IVERSON ON NBA’S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST

With 41 points November 6th against the Grizzlies, Kobe Bryant (24,027) moved ahead of Memphis’ Allen Iverson (24,020) for 16th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Bryant moved to 17th on the list with his first two free throws on April 10th at Portland last season, passing Charles Barkley (23,757). Barkley reached his scoring total in 1,073 games over 16 seasons in contrast to Bryant, who did so in his 946th career game. In all last season, Bryant passed Robert Parish (23,334) for 18th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, Adrian Dantley (23,177) for 19th, Elgin Baylor (23,149) for 20th, Clyde Drexler (22,195) for 21st, Gary Payton (21,813) for 22nd and Larry Bird (21,791) for 23rd. Additionally, in passing Baylor, now only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (24,176) and Jerry West (25,192 points) have scored more points with the Lakers than Bryant. Next on the NBA’s all-time list ahead of Bryant and Iverson are Patrick Ewing (24,815) and Jerry West (25,192).

BRYANT YOUNGEST IN NBA HISTORY TO 24,000 CAREER POINTS; 17th EVER TO REACH MILESTONE
With a second-quarter basket November 6th against the Grizzlies, Kobe Bryant (31 years, 75 days) became the youngest player in NBA history to score 24,000 points, reaching the milestone ahead of Wilt Chamberlain (31 years, 113 days). In terms of games, of the 17 players to now have scored 24,000 points, Bryant is the 9th fastest to do so in terms of games (954). Wilt Chamberlain was the fastest in league history to score 24,000 points, doing so in just 653 games.

Last season, with 34 points February 10 vs. Oklahoma City, Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to score 23,000 points (30 years, 171 days), reaching the milestone FIVE days younger than Wilt Chamberlain (30 years, 176 days). In terms of games, of the 21 players to score 23,000 points, Bryant was the 11th fastest to do so, reaching the mark in 917 games. Earlier in the year, with 28 points December 2 at Indiana, Bryant became the 22nd player in NBA history to score 22,000 points and in doing so, became the 2nd youngest player ever to 22,000 points (30 years, 101 days), one day older than Wilt Chamberlain (30 years, 100 days) who scored his 22,000th point on 11/26/66. The youngest player in league history to accumulate 14,000 – 20,000 and 23,000 – 24,000 points, Bryant became the 12th fastest to 22,000 points in terms of games, reaching the mark in 881 career games. Through his career, Bryant has been 29th fastest to 15,000, 22nd fastest to 16,000, 20th fastest to 17,000, 16th fastest to 18,000, 15th fastest to 19,000, 15th fastest to 20,000, 12th fastest to 21,000, 12th fastest to 22,000 and 11th fastest to 23,000 points in terms of games.

JACKSON NEARS LARRY BROWN FOR 5th ON THE ALL-TIME COACHING WIN LIST
A season after earning his record 10th NBA Championship as a head coach, Phil Jackson (1,046-436) is now just two wins shy of tying Charlotte Bobcats head coach Larry Brown (1,048-848) for 5th on the NBA’s all-time coaching win list. The only coach in league history to win better than 70 percent of his games (.706), Jackson ranks 12th in all-time regular season games coached and 1st in playoff games coached (300), won (209) and playoff winning percentage (.697). Last season, Jackson became the fastest coach in NBA history to reach 1,000 career victories, needing 1,423 games to reach the mark. Earning induction in his first year of consideration, on September 7, 2007, Jackson was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

40-POINT GAMES
In the Lakers November 6th victory over Memphis, Kobe Bryant scored 41 points, marking the 99th time in his career that he has scored 40-plus points in a game and the third time this season. Last season, Bryant posted four 40-plus point games. Bryant’s 46 points February 1, 2008 at Toronto moved him past Elgin Baylor (88 40-plus games) for third all-time and into first in Lakers franchise history. In the history of the NBA, only two players have more career 40-point games: Wilt Chamberlain (271) and Michael Jordan (173). The Lakers are now 68-31 in games that Bryant has scored 40-plus points. This season, the Lakers are 3-0 when Bryant scores 40-plus. Bryant holds the Lakers franchise record for 40-point games in a single season, recording 27 during the 2005-06 campaign. Bryant also holds the franchise record for most consecutive 40-point games (9), established during the 2002-03 season, which is tied for the fourth longest such streak in NBA history (Michael Jordan) behind Wilt Chamberlain, who twice posted streaks of 14 and once had a 10-game streak.

BACK-TO-BACK
The Lakers returned 2-0 from their first road trip and set of back-to-backs of the season, winning in overtime in both Oklahoma City and Houston. On the season, the Lakers are 1-0 in the first game and 1-0 in the second game of back-to-backs. This year, the Lakers will play 20 sets of back-to-back games, the most the team has played in a single season since playing 22 sets of back-to-backs during the 1999-00 campaign. Last year, the Lakers played 19 sets of back-to-backs, going 14-5 in the first game and 14-5 in the second as well.