The Los Angeles Lakers welcomed Andrew Bynum back to the starting lineup and took a 59-41 halftime lead over the New Orleans Hornets at New Orleans Arena. After getting hammered in three straight losses, the Lakers decided to make a change to their starting lineup, with Lamar Odom sliding to the bench. The Lakers had used just one starting lineup in each of their first 31 games.
With Bynum in the middle, the Lakers got off to a hot-shooting start. They made 12 of 16 shots (75%) in the first quarter, including making six of seven shots essentially at the rim. Bynum made three of his four first-period shots, including a dunk from a nice pick and roll with Kobe Bryant. The Lakers led 26-23 after one quarter.
Odom excelled off the bench, scoring 11 points, matching Kobe Bryant for the team lead, on 4-of-5 shooting in 16 minutes. After dishing out just 15 assists all game against San Antonio last night, the Lakers had 15 assists on 23 made field goals in the first half tonight. That helped the Lakers shoot the lights out in the first 24 minutes, shooting 67.6% from the field. The Lakers also outrebounded the Hornets 22-7.
Chris Paul led New Orleans with 13 points in the first half. Davis West of the Hornets left the game after turning his ankle with 4:18 remaining in the second quarter, but was able to walk to the locker room on his own power.
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