The Los Angeles Lakers weren't playing very well in the final two weeks of the regular season, but the thought was that they would flip the switch once the NBA playoffs began. That didn't happen on Sunday. Chris Paul dominated the Lakers with 33 points, seven boards, and 14 assists, leading the New Orleans Hornets to a 109-100 win in Game 1 over the Lakers at Staples Center.
Paul proved too much for Derek Fisher and the Lakers, as he led the New Orleans offense through, around, and over the Lakers on Sunday. New Orleans shot 51.9% from the field and had 24 assists on their 41 made field goals. Carl Landry chipped in with 17 points and five rebounds for the Hornets. Jarrett Jack was very effective off the bench, scoring 15 points in 22 minutes, with four rebounds, and five assists.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 34 points, and survived a scare when he hit his neck on a courtside seat at Staples Center near the end of the first half. Ron Artest had 16 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. The Lakers' big man trio of Andre Bynum, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom combined for just 16 rebounds in the game (and 31 points).
Game 2 is Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. PDT, at Staples Center.
For more news on this first-round matchup, be sure to stay tuned to this story stream at SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NBA playoff coverage, check out SB Nation's NBA playoff bracket and schedule. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.