GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score New Orleans Hornets 32 19 21 18 90
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 23 31 25 27 106

Kobe's dunks lead Lakers, push Hornets to brink


LOS ANGELES (AP) Kobe Bryant scored 19 points and threw down two stirring dunks on a sprained left ankle, and the Los Angeles Lakers pushed the New Orleans Hornets to the brink of first-round playoff elimination with a 106-90 victory in Game 5 on Tuesday night, taking a 3-2 series lead.

Andrew Bynum had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Pau Gasol added 16 points as the two-time defending NBA champions roared back from a slow start in a pivotal game for their threepeat hopes with another dramatic playoff performance by Bryant, who injured his ankle in Game 4.

Trevor Ariza scored 22 points, Marco Belinelli added 21, and Chris Paul had 20 points and 12 assists for the seventh-seeded Hornets, who have lost three of four since their stunning Game 1 victory. Ariza hit five 3-pointers, but managed just six points in the second half as the Lakers took control of the game and perhaps the series.

Game 6 is Thursday in New Orleans.

Bryant left New Orleans on crutches two days earlier, but he refused an MRI exam extensive treatment when he got home, with coach Phil Jackson reluctantly agreeing. Postseason injuries are nothing new for the two-time NBA finals MVP, who has persevered through a slew of them during 67 playoff games in the previous three years.

After a slow start, Bryant erased worries about his fitness with a dunk that recalled the days when a younger Kobe wore a No. 8 jersey. Late in the second quarter, he drove the lane with a left-hand dribble, went up with two hands and threw down a right-handed slam over Emeka Okafor, electrifying his Staples Center fans.

He added another crowd-riling slam with his left hand in the third quarter while Los Angeles jumped to an 11-point lead, and he headed back to the locker room early to get more treatment when he came out for good in the final minutes.

While Bryant took the emotional lead, the Lakers got another outstanding low-post game from Bynum, who moved exceptionally well on his own sore knee. Gasol also returned to nearly normal after an awful start to the series, while Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom added 13 points apiece.

The Hornets made 61 percent of their shots in the first half, but couldn't maintain that pace when the Lakers got down to business. Last spring, the Lakers also faced an even first-round series heading into Game 5 against Oklahoma City, and they responded with eight consecutive wins.

Ariza breezed past Bryant for a layup on the Hornets' opening possession as they came out with no fear of the big Hollywood stage, making 13 of their 16 shots in the first quarter and jumping to a nine-point lead. Paul racked up eight assists in the period, picking up right where he left off in New Orleans.

But Bryant added three more baskets after his dramatic dunk, staking Los Angeles to a 54-51 halftime advantage. Paul kept the Hornets right in it, scoring seven points in the final 2 minutes of the first half.

Paul's triple-double allowed New Orleans to even the series in Game 4, but he struggled to make big plays after getting eight assists in the first quarter. His frustrating night was epitomized in the final minutes when Ron Artest's defense forced him simply to drop the ball on the ground, unable to shoot or to pass after he jumped.

NOTES: Before the game, Artest received the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, recognizing his tireless year of mental health advocacy. Artest, still best known for his role in the 2004 brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills, pronounced himself very grateful for the honor. Artest testified before Congress and raised money for the cause, even raffling off his 2010 championship ring. ... Paul's eight assists in the first quarter tied the franchise playoff record for a Lakers opponent. John Stockton and Steve Nash also did it. ... Fans near courtside included Jon Hamm, David Beckham, Steven Spielberg, Ken Jeong, Reggie Bush, Jeremy Piven, Kaley Cuoco, Kevin Hart, Maria Shriver and baseball great Frank Robinson.

Copyright 2011 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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6 Lakers in double figures, with all five starters and Lamar Odom going for at least 11.

7 Blocked shots for the Lakers, led by Pau Gasol's three and Andrew Bynum's two.

10 Three pointers for the Hornets, half of which were made by Trevor Ariza, who hit 5-of-8 despite making only 30 percent from distance in the regular season. L.A. is familiar with that pattern, as Ariza struggled in the regular season as a Laker in 2008-09 before catching fire late in the postseason.

13 Second quarter points for Kobe Bryant on 6-of-10 FG's after he failed to attempt a single shot in the first quarter. Among his six field goals was a nasty one-handed facial on Emeka Okafor that tied the game and seemed to fuel L.A. moving forward after a nervous first quarter watching Bryant struggle to move laterally on his ankle/foot defensively. Going straight up, however, was apparently not a problem, Bryant breaking out the ol' No. 8 jersey again in the third for a monster left-handed hammer dunk.

28 Total points (18) and rebounds (10) for Andrew Bynum, who posted his third double-double in five games.

49.3 Identical field goal percentage for both teams, though L.A. attempted eight more shots and nine more free throws to come up with the 16-point margin of victory.

View More Numbers: Lakers – Hornets: Game 5 Postgame Numbers

View More Photos

Points Bryant 19, 8-13 FG
Rebounds Bynum 10, 5 OFF 5 DEF
Assists Bryant, Gasol 4
Steals Artest 2
Blocks Barnes, Blake, Bryant, Fisher, Odom


Lakers coach Phil Jackson on his thoughts after Bryant's first stint:
"Better get him off the floor he's a liability. He came back in the second strong as ever and after a misplay on trying to get a foul and a three-point play by Trevor he was able to get it going."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on his expectations of Bryant:
"I expected him to lift the level of his game up. The first time out he was kind of feeling himself, how it's going out there on the court."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on if he believes the dunk got Bryant going:
"It got the crowd going. It seemed to spark him. You know he was at a point, that's enough so yeah I think that was a big statement."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on if the dunk shows that Bryant is healthy:
"No, just that he was mad."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on how the Lakers were able to be successful:
"I think we had our hands on a lot of balls and it's uncharacteristic of them to have 19 turnovers in a ballgame, so that was a big part of the game."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on the play of former Lakers guard Trevor Ariza:
"Well he's really lifted his game. Trevor did not have a good year shooting the three point shot; he shot it well against us so that's obviously a big part. I think he feels comfortable out there. We need to make him a little more uncomfortable out there on the court."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on if he expected this type of performance tonight:
"Well, you hope for it you don't expect it. It's your home court, you're coming back, and this is what you play for all year for to have this energy in a situation like that so expect it? No. Hopeful? Yes."

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on his ankle in the first quarter of the game:
"It was alright, it was a little stiff but it loosened up the more I moved…the more I played the looser it got. That first couple of minutes I was ready to go."

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on how his ankle is feeling:
"It feels alright. You know, the beauty of mind and medicine."

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on the physicality of tonight's game:
"We just played. We just played hard."

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on why he opted not to have an MRI:
"Well, I was moving ok, I didn't feel like it was broken. And even if it was it wouldn't have mattered, I would have played anyway. So it was a waste of time. I would've had to go all the way up there and do that and then sit in 405 traffic for two hours."

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on his dunk in the second quarter:
"I just had a lane to the basket. It looked like he was going to challenge me at the end and I accepted the challenge."

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on if his dunk sent a message:
"Well, I mean it's a message for us, that, you know, this is important. Play tough, do what we got to do…"

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on the team's second unit:
"That's one of our biggest strengths, we believe our second unit can go out there and be disruptive and cause turnovers, and allow us to get out and transition, and all those things were clicking."

Lakers' Derek Fisher on how his team elevated its play as the game went on:
"I think our guys coming off the bench did a great job…We allowed them to get in rhythm and get comfortable in the first quarter. They put up 32 points and that's something we can't allow to happen. Our guys off the bench came and got it going."

Lakers' Derek Fisher on Kobe Bryant playing tonight despite a sprained left ankle:
"I don't know what else I can add. I mean, his legacy…he's going to play. Whatever he's got going, as long as he has two hands and two feet he's going to play. He's going to figure it out."

Lakers' Derek Fisher on defensive adjustments his team made:
"The guys off the bench I think [helped]. I think Matt [Barnes] was really active with his hands on some loose balls. Steve [Blake] was running and getting some rebounds, Shannon [Brown] knocked down a couple big shots, and then Lamar's versatility, where he can rebound and push the ball [helped]. So I think the game just kind of opened up. But I think defensively they were a little more active, and rotating better and caused more to happen in that second quarter."

Lakers' Ron Artest on Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum's performances tonight in the paint:
"They played to their potential tonight, and they played hard. I know they played to their potential."

Lakers' Ron Artest on the Hornets low post defense against his team:
"I think the Hornets have a tough power forward and a center. I mean, there's Emeka [Okafor], Landry knocking the ball out, [and] Ariza is playing out of his mind."

Lakers' Andrew Bynum on the importance of his team's third quarter performance tonight:
"Yeah, the third quarter we came out not flat, and we were able to kind of increase the lead there."

Lakers' Andrew Bynum on what he liked about his team's performance tonight:
"We came out there and we changed their rhythm. There were times in the game that were crucial and we pressured a little bit. It definitely showed up tonight. And then our defensive play and our offensive play, we were able to capitalize underneath this game."

Lakers' Pau Gasol on if the team is more motivated now considering Kobe Bryant might be limited:
"At this point we all have to step up and play, whether Kobe [Bryant] is limited or not. He didn't look limited tonight and he played very well…now we are 3-2 and we want to win the next one. We all have to step up no matter what."

Lakers' Pau Gasol on the Lakers physicality tonight:
"We should do that all the time. We should be able to play like that all the time. Tonight was definitely a game that we needed to play physical in and control the boards, and use our bodies. It was a good effort, good team effort. I think everybody played really hard and our energy was good and that's why we won the way we won."

Lakers' Pau Gasol on him and Andrew Bynum outscoring the Hornets big players:
"It's one of the aspects of the game that we want to control. If our front court is able to out-play their front court that's a big plus. Doesn't mean we are going to win, but it's a big plus."

Lakers' Pau Gasol on getting tired of some of the shoving under the basket:
"I didn't get tired of it. I was used to it. You have to play through it and you have to fight back. You're going to get bumped and pushed and shoved, and you have to push and shove back. I established myself better. I was able to absorb and deliver contact…"

Hornets coach Monty Williams on the different in tonight's game:
"We missed shots. To say that the Lakers took us out of [the game] I wouldn't say. I think we missed a ton of shots in the second half. Karl only had 7 attempts tonight he's gotta get more attempts. Emeka had some chances around the basket but he's got to catch the ball and go up there and finish."

Hornets coach Monty Williams on tonight's increased physicality:
"Give them credit, obviously. There was more focus to be physical tonight and I know you guys saw it. A lot of it, it's just not basketball so it's just one of those things we have recognize and withstand that kind of play and overcome it."

Hornets coach Monty Williams on Kobe Bryant's play and ankle:
"That's what he does. All this talk about his ankle, did it look like his ankle was hurting? Okay then. See that's why I don't even get into all that. It is what it is, he made a spectacular play.

Hornets coach Monty Williams on increasing the physicality of the game:
"In my opinion, when we went to the basket tonight they were putting us on the ground. At some point you have to know how to make a playoff foul and whether it comes from this experience, with our team we have to learn how to not allow him to get that play off because our guys are going down when they go to the basket whether it's on a free-throw, rebound, or when they attack the basket, so galvanizing? I don't know it is. He could have layed it up tonight and the crowd would still have screamed"

Hornets coach Monty Williams on if his team settled for jump shots:
"I think I talked to you about that before. When we play that way and start jacking up jump shots, you know, how have we won games? We've attacked the basket early and it's opened up everything for us. We hit a lot of jump shots and I thought 'cause guys were playing heavy minutes late in the game, Game 5 you don't have the legs like in Game 1. I thought it took away from out attack mentality. Every time we attacked in the second half whether it was Chris or Trevor or Marco we got to the line or Emeka got a tip out or something like that. I thought we gave into the jump shots too early.

Hornets' Chris Paul on his assists tonight and if he struggled tonight:
"Somewhat, somewhat. I wouldn't have known that if you told me about the assists, but we sort of did. The games that we have won in the series, we sort of been on attack mode. That tends to happen in basketball when you make a few shots; you want to keep taking them. We have to get back to attacking the rim and get to the free-throw line."

Hornets' Chris Paul on the wide discrepancy in bench points tonight:
"I don't know what to tell you. I think the tough thing for us tonight was the balance that they had. D Fish [Derek Fisher] 13 [points], 17 [points] somebody, 18 [points], 19 [points], so they were balanced. We have to figure out what we're going to take away. Trevor [Ariza] and Marco [Belinelli] had it going…all in all we played a pretty good game, pretty physical game. We have to figure out how to play physical without sending them to the free-throw line all the time…"

Hornets' Chris Paul on his level of confidence now that the record is 3-2:
"Still high. The great thing about it is now we get to go back to our home court with our fans behind us and we have to bring energy. It's the elimination game now. We can't leave anything out there. Like they always say 'win or go home.' We don't have another game to fall back on. This is all or nothing for us. We are going to come out Game 6 and play. I can't wait. I think that city, New Orleans probably wish the game was when we get back on the flight tonight.

Hornets' Chris Paul on the Lakers physicality:
"I don't know. I don't know. We are going to go, we are going to try and figure it out. We have to figure it out; I don't know the answer to that."

Hornets' Trevor Ariza on the Lakers balanced attack offensively tonight:
"They played well. There's nothing that we can say. I don't think we didn't fight or we didn't play well, I just feel like they played better than us. That's it."

Hornets' Trevor Ariza on the Hornets losing their early lead:
"I just felt like we stopped being aggressive. I don't think that they were more aggressive, I think we stopped being aggressive. We started settling, I know I did, for more jumpshots instead of taking it to the basket. That was the difference."

Hornets' Trevor Ariza on if the Hornets turnovers were due to the Lakers defense or self-inflicted:
"A lot of it I think has to do with us. But give them credit, they played great defense as well. If we want to have a chance, we have to take care of the ball."

Hornets' Trevor Ariza on Kobe Bryant playing well tonight despite being on crutches Sunday:
"Some injury."

Hornets' Willie Green on the Lakers offensive rebounding tonight, from guards and big men:
"Sometimes as guards, we get caught looking instead of [boxing out] our guys and keeping those guys off the boards. They got a lot of size down there, but we have to do a better job. There's no excuses for that."

Hornets' Willie Green on the Hornets main focus going into Game 6:
"Win. That's it. We have to take care of home and go into this game focused, knowing that we can win."

Hornets' Willie Green on what he saw from Kobe tonight and if the Hornets prepared any differently for him considering his ankle injury:
"He played his normal game. We know Kobe is not going to sit out in the playoffs unless they shoot him with a tranquilizer. Other than that, he's going to get out there and play. We were ready for him, we were prepared for him to come out and play the game like he normally does."

Hornets' Emeka Okafor on how difficult it is to keep the Lakers big men out of the lane:
"It's difficult. That's why they're the two-time defending champions. They have a lot of size, strength and skill, and as far as matchups go, it's difficult."

Hornets' Emeka Okafor on Kobe playing well with his sprained ankle:
"That's for show. You know Kobe is going to play no matter what, even if he has to be out there on one leg."


By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP)—After three straight trips to the NBA finals, there are few playoff predicaments theLos Angeles Lakers haven't already escaped. Just last spring, they were in the same jam they currently face: tied at 2 in a first-round playoff series against a young, hungry opponent.

Oklahoma City had the Lakers two games away from a shocking first-round elimination last year before they pulled much the same escape they're hoping to make against New Orleans this week.

"We're in the same position, as far as being tied," said Pau Gasol(notes), the Lakers' fourth-leading scorer in the series with 12.3 points per game while making a team-worst 39.5 percent of his shots. "We just have to make sure we come out and get Game 5 as we did in the past, because we know how important it is."

When the two-time champions face that pivotal first-round Game 5 against New Orleans on Tuesday night at Staples Center, they'll have to draw from their expansive well of postseason experience just to keep moving forward on the brutal drive toward a threepeat.

The Lakers still haven't drained that well, but their task gets a bit tougher each time they have to go there to find the energy necessary to finish off contenders.

"They certainly play better when they're in a desperate mode, there's no doubt about that," coach Phil Jackson said after Monday's workout at the Lakers' training complex. "They were somber. They understand the nature of we to have to do with this ballclub."

Sure, the Lakers have been here before while playing 67 postseason games over the previous three years. But the dilemma posed by the Hornets is unique.

For one thing, few players in recent playoff years have carved up the Lakers' defense as thoroughly as Chris Paul(notes) is doing it in this series. Paul, who destroyed Los Angeles with 33 points and 14 assists in Game 1, is averaging 25.5 points, 11.5 assists and 7 rebounds per game after putting up the first triple-double ever posted against the Lakers in 712 playoff games during New Orleans' win in Game 4.

For another, Kobe Bryant(notes) is limping on a sprained left ankle that might be a bit more serious than the countless injuries he has managed through in the past few seasons. After getting ice and massage during the Lakers' flight home, which landed about 3:30 a.m. local time Monday, he refused any further treatment, preferring to head into Game 5 without knowing the full extent of his latest injury.

"He says he'll play," Jackson said of Bryant, who didn't speak to reporters Monday. "He won't let them deal with it. … Doesn't matter, he's going to play tomorrow. That's his attitude."

Jackson also said Paul isn't the biggest problem faced by the Lakers, who have all but conceded they can't shut down the four-time All-Star point guard. Their game plan increasingly focuses on slowing down Paul's teammates—a tactic that didn't work in Game 4.

"We're bothered by (Trevor) Ariza and (Carl) Landry," Jackson said. "We're paying attention to Chris Paul, and he's make big plays. We're not worried about that. We're worried about something we can do something about."

The Hornets have remained humble about their upstart run at the Lakers after stumbling into the playoffs and losing leading scorer David West(notes) to a season-ending injury. Yet two victories in four games have built a fire of confidence under New Orleans, which is drafting off the remarkable pace set by its star point guard.

Paul has accumulated his own share of injuries, including a nasty cut near his right eye, but teammate Jarrett Jack(notes) knows the Hornets can count on him.

"He's tough as nails," Jack said of his boyhood friend. "The only way he's not going to play is if he can't breathe. Nothing is going to keep him out of the game. It's the same as Kobe. You saw him. He could barely walk, and he was yelling at Phil (Jackson) for taking him out the game. If you want to be that guy in this league, that's what you have to do."

Paul lavished postgame praise on Ariza, the former Lakers forward who scored 16 of his 19 points in the first half of Game 4 while holding Bryant scoreless on defense.

"He was unbelievable," Paul said of Ariza, who won the 2009 title with Los Angeles. "I told him after the game I fed off of his energy. I might have had four points in the first half, but he single-handedly kept us in the game. It's hard enough to run around with Kobe. For him to be out there to score, he was doing it all."

The Lakers are familiar with best-of-three finishes to their playoff series: Three of their four postseason series last year were tied after four games, as were two series during their initial title run in 2009.

The Lakers prevailed every time—but that doesn't mean it gets any easier to do it, point guard Derek Fisher(notes)notes.

"If you could just play the way you want to every time you go out there, there would be more teams that have done what we're trying to do," Fisher said.

Copyright 2011 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 Kobe Bryant (sprained left ankle) is day-to-day.
Matt Barnes (sore right knee) is probable.
Andrew Bynum (bone bruise, right knee) is probable.
Devin Ebanks (stress fracture, left tibia) is out.

David West (torn ACL, left knee) is out.

Game 1: 4/17 - NOH @ LAL L 109-100
Game 2: 4/20 -
NOH @ LAL W 87-78
Game 3: 4/22 -
LAL @ NOH W 100-86
Game 4: 4/24 -
LAL @ NOH L 93-88
Game 5: 4/26 -
Game 6: 4/28 -
Game 7: 4/20 -
* if necessary

Regular Season:
- LAL @ NOH W 103-88
01/07 - NOH @ LAL W 101-98
02/05 - LAL @ NOH W 101-95
03/27 - NOH @ LAL W 102-84

There are many things about game 4 that we can improve upon but the one that jumps out at us is the rebounding numbers. The Hornets were led in that category by Chris Paul and ended winning the rebound battle 39-32. We flat out must rebound the ball better. It is as simple as that. As an example of how dominating the boards can bleed into other significant statistical areas, New Orleans out scored us 20-4 on second chance points. These are all effort areas and we cannot let the Hornets out work us like that on our home court tonight.

Read Full Scouting Report @ Lakers Courtside Connection


The Lakers swept their season series with New Orleans 4-0 after taking last season's series from the Hornets 2-1. The Lakers are 8-2 in their last 10 games against the Hornets and have won seven of their last eight overall. The Lakers are 7-3 in their last 10 homes games against the Hornets and are 14-4 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 9-3 at New Orleans Arena while going 0-2 at Ford Center in Oklahoma City during their temporary relocation from 2005-07. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 23-9 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 2007-08 (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. In a January 6, 2009 loss to New Orleans, David West scored a series-high 40 points for the Hornets, surpassing Baron Davis' mark of 37 established when the team was in Charlotte in 2002. Lakers assistant coach Jim Cleamons spent the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons as an assistant coach in New Orleans. Hornets forward Trevor Ariza played 106 regular season games with Los Angeles from 2007-09, averaging 8.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.54 steals during his Lakers career while helping the team to the 2009 NBA Championship. Additionally, Hornets center DJ Mbenga played three seasons with the Lakers from 2007-10, averaged 2.3 points and 1.6 rebounds and was a member of two championship Lakers teams (2009, 2010). The Lakers and Hornets have never met in the playoffs prior to this year. This is the Hornets 3rd appearance as a Western Conference team (2008, 2009, 2011) and 12th overall.

OPENING ROUND HISTORY (Los Angeles era only)
The Lakers have now opened the Playoffs in the FIRST Round 40 times and in the SECOND round on seven occasions (1962, 63, 65, 66, 80, 82, 83) since moving to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season. The Lakers have won 36-of-46 opening playoff series over that span and are 138-71 (.660) in opening round games. In Game 1's of their first postseason series, the Lakers are now 34-13. When the Lakers have had home-court advantage in the opening round, they have posted a 33-2 series record. When winning Game 1 in the opening round, the Lakers have a series record of 33-1. Their lone loss came to the Phoenix Suns (2-3) in 1993. When falling behind 0-1 in the opening round, the Lakers are just 3-9. The Lakers three opening round series victories when losing Game 1 came in 1995 vs. Seattle, 1979 vs. Denver and 1969 vs. San Francisco. Only in the San Francisco series, when they lost their first two games at home but won the series in six games, did the Lakers have home court advantage.


On Tuesday, April 19, the NBA announced Lamar Odom as the recipient of the 2010-11 Kia NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award. The honor, voted on by a panel of 117 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada, is the first for Odom as well as the first for a Lakers player since the award's inception prior to the 1982-83 season. Odom received 513 of a possible 585 points, including 96 of a possible 117 first-place votes. Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks finished second with 244 points while Thaddeus Young of the Philadelphia 76ers finished third with 76 points. In order to be eligible for this award, players had to have come off the bench in more games than they started (Odom came off the bench in 47 contests). Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote. As part of its support of the Sixth Man Award, Kia Motors America donated a new Kia Sorento CUV to the Lakers Youth Foundation (the charity of Odom's choice) whose goal is to assist nonprofit community organizations.

Odom, a two-time NBA Champion and member of the gold medal winning 2010 USA Basketball Men's World Championship team, appeared in all 82 games for the Lakers this season, averaging 14.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 32.2 minutes. Ranked 15th among league leaders in rebounds and 11th (.530) in field goal percentage, Odom recorded 28 double-doubles on the season while scoring 20-plus points 14 times. Earlier this season, he became the 23rd player in NBA history to reach 12,000 career points, 7,000 career rebounds and 3,000 career assists as well as the 9th fastest ever to do so in terms of games (821).


When Phil Jackson wins Game 1 of any playoff series, best-of-five or best-of-seven, his teams are 48-0, having gone 24-0 with Chicago and 24-0 with the Lakers. When Jackson-led teams open a series with a 2-0 lead, he is 36-0 all-time. And when holding a series lead of any kind, Jackson's teams are 54-1 all-time.

With 17 points April 24 at New Orleans, Kobe Bryant scored 10+ points in a playoff game for the 153rd consecutive time despite going scoreless in the first half of a playoff game for the first time since May 25, 2004 vs. Minnesota. Earlier this series, Bryant's 11 points April 20 vs. New Orleans were the fewest during the streak, which began in Game 6 of the 2000 NBA Finals vs. Indiana (6/19/2000), since he scored 11 points in Game 3 of the 2004 NBA Finals at Detroit (6/10/04). The only streak longer than Bryant's in NBA history is Michael Jordan's run of 179 consecutive double-figure scoring playoff games from 4/19/85 – 6/14/98 (end of his career).

Since moving to STAPLES Center prior to the 1999-2000 season, the Lakers have won 83% of their postseason home games (75-15). The Lakers have topped the century mark in over half of their postseason home games at STAPLES Center (52-of-90) while the opposition has been held under 100 points in all but 27 of those games. Since the start of the 2008 NBA Playoffs, the Lakers are 32-5 in games played at STAPLES Center. In their last 53 home playoff games, the Lakers are 45-8. The Lakers had won 12 straight home playoff games dating back to the 2009 Western Conference Finals before losing Game 2 of to 2010 NBA Finals at home.

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