Hornets.com postgame: Lakers 102, Hornets 84

Sunday, March 27, 2011
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Lakers (53-20), Hornets (42-32)

It was over when… the Lakers extended their lead to 96-82 with 1:28 remaining, after a Lamar Odom baseline jumper and two Kobe Bryant free throws. New Orleans trailed by 16 at halftime and made a few runs to cut it to single digits, but wound up 2-1 on their final multi-game road trip of 2010-11. The Hornets missed a chance to move ahead of the Trail Blazers (who lost to the Thunder) for sixth place in the Western Conference, but can still do so Wednesday by beating Portland in NOLA.

Hornets MVP: In his second start filling in for David West at power forward, Carl Landry tallied a Hornets-high of 24 points. The fourth-year veteran displayed a little bit of everything in his offensive repertoire, starting out with a pair of 18-foot jumpers, getting to the foul line nine times, running the floor for fast-break layups and pounding the backboards for a couple point-blank scores. He also grabbed 10 rebounds, tying his top performance since joining New Orleans.

Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: Aaron Gray delivered a high-quality seven-point, seven-rebound game in 18 minutes of work. His size and physicality also contributed to Andrew Bynum picking up a few additional fouls that kept him constantly being shuffled out of the lineup. All three of Gray’s baskets resulted from him diving to the rim, grabbing a teammate’s miss and putting the ball back up for a layup on the doorstep.

The buzz on… the addition of Patrick Ewing Jr. On Saturday the Hornets announced that they’d signed the combo forward to a 10-day contract. Best known to this point in basketball circles as the son of the Hall of Fame center, the 26-year-old Georgetown product has spent time on NBA rosters and in summer league but has yet to make his official debut in a regular season game.

“He played well in the D-League,” Monty Williams described of the 6-foot-8, 235-pounder. “He’s had some experience in the NBA. He’s been around it his whole life. I’ve known him since I was a rookie when he was in New York. So he’s been around this kind of atmosphere. He’s a tweener – he can play the 3 and the 4, and probably shoots it better than most people realize. He can defend a little bit, which may help us switch (on screens) when he gets an opportunity to play, if that happens.”

Based on Saturday being the first day of his 10-day deal, Ewing’s initial contract would be up on April 4, the day after next Sunday’s home game vs. Indiana.

Blog question of the night: If the season ended today, one of the four Western Conference first-round matchups would pit the second-seeded Lakers against the seventh-seeded Hornets. Given New Orleans’ 0-4 mark against Los Angeles in the regular season, what can the Hornets point to as encouraging should they face the Lakers in Round 1?