Lakers Top Hornets For Seventh Straight Win

The Lakers are 4-0 against the Hornets this season.

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Lakers Beat Hornets 102-84 For Seventh Straight Win

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant finished with a game-high 30 points as the Lakers topped the Hornets, 102-84, at Staples Center.

Pau Gasol posted 23 points and 16 rebounds, while Andrew Bynum scored 13 for Los Angeles, which has won seven straight and 15-of-16. Ron Artest added 11 points and Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown both contributed eight points off the bench.

Carl Landry paced the Hornets with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Emeka Okafor added 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Chris Paul posted 10 points and nine assists in the loss.

"(The Lakers) are the defending champions, they came out with length and attacked the basket," Hornets coach Monty Williams said. "In the second half we played better, we just couldn't make a shot in the first or second half."

Bryant began his night with an 11-point outburst in the first quarter as the Lakers took a 30-19 lead into the second. LA maintained its pace in the second quarter as its took a 57-41 lead into halftime.

The Lakers lead remained in double-digits in the opening minutes of the third quarter. However, Marco Belinelli canned a short jumper with 6:35 remaining to cut New Orleans' deficit to 64-55.

"We had a good defensive night tonight," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "Our bench struggled and when (New Orleans) got it back to nine points I put the starters back in and they closed."

LA responded by scoring the games next eight points, and after trading baskets for the next few minutes, the Hornets ended the quarter on a 6-0 run to trail 74-63 entering the fourth quarter.

Willie Green hit a short jumper two minutes into the fourth to start a 6-0 New Orleans run that got it close. Quincy Pondexter's basket cut the Hornets' deficit to 78-72, but the Lakers quickly responded and, after a layup by Bryant with 2:28 remaining, their lead was back to double-digits, 92-82.

Bryant's layup started a 10-2 run to close out the game as New Orleans finished the game 1-for-7 from the field.

Game Notes

Belinelli finished with nine points...Both teams went 3-of-17 from beyond the arc.


For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.


Lakers Look To Keep Rolling Against Hornets

(Sports Network) - Despite losing star forward David West for the rest of the season with a torn left ACL, the New Orleans Hornets will continue their push for a playoff spot in the Western Conference when they visit the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Chris Paul poured in 22 points on Friday, including several key buckets at the end of the game, as the Hornets overcame losing West for at least one night when they disposed of the Phoenix Suns, 106-100. New Orleans had received the devastating news on West, who suffered the injury in Thursday's 121-117 overtime win at Utah, earlier on Friday.

Several players stepped up in his absence. The club got 19 points from Carl Landry, and Jarrett Jack added 17 in the win, New Orleans' third in four games.

"You just can't say enough about guys pulling together in adversity," New Orleans head coach Monty Williams said. "I'd love to tell you it was about tricky plays and we had some schemes go well for us tonight."

The Hornets kept their playoff hopes in good standing as they remain in seventh place in the Western Conference -- a half-game behind Portland and two games ahead of Memphis.

The Lakers, meanwhile, continue to excel since the All-Star break and are coming off a 112-104 win Friday over their co-tenants at Staples Center, the LA Clippers. Kobe Bryant poured in 37 points and dished out six assists in that one.

Pau Gasol added 26 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers, who have won six in a row and sit five games behind the Spurs for the top spot in the Western Conference. The team is a stellar 14-1 since the All-Star break.

Ron Artest donated 15 points and five boards for the Pacific Division champion Lakers, who are 5-0 on a seven-game homestand and have won eight straight overall as the host. Andrew Bynum returned from a two-game suspension to record 11 points and 12 rebounds.

"No, it's just another win for us as a group and we're trying to continue to get better," Lakers guard Derek Fisher said. "We haven't played as well as we'd like to these last few games but the Clippers team has played us tough all year; every game we've played. Whenever you can win a season series against a team in the NBA it's a good thing."

LA, which will be attempting to sweep the four-game season series with New Orleans tonight, hasn't won nine straight at Staples Center since an 11-game spurt from Nov. 17-Dec. 22, 2009.

If the season ended today, these two teams would meet in the Western quarterfinals.

For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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