New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Pau Gasol finished with a season-high 34 points and 10 rebounds while Kobe Bryant contributed 32 points, nine boards and five assists, lifting the Lakers over the Hornets, 101-95, at New Orleans Arena. Andrew Bynum added 12 points and grabbed seven boards for the Lakers, who have won two of three, and all three meetings this season with New Orleans. "We shot the ball well and you always have to have that kind of a game to win, especially on the road," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "The other thing we did was control the pace. We did not win the rebound battle; that was one of the other faults, but the thing is we took care of it."
Chris Paul led the Hornets with 21 points and 15 assists while David West posted 16 points and 12 rebounds for New Orleans, which has dropped four of five. The big difference in the game was free throws. The Lakers were 23-of-27, while the Hornets made all four of their attempts.
"It's hard for a game to be that physical and we only get four free throws," New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. "I think our guys were competing their butts off tonight and I thought that we deserved a little bit more whatever you want to call it but I think we deserved to go to the line more tonight." Paul knotted the game at 92 on a running bank shot with 3:43 remaining. Bryant then responded with one of his four three-pointers at the far end, and after David Andersen's three was off the mark, Odom connected on a tip shot with 2:50 remaining to give the Lakers a 97-92 advantage.
Both teams went flat for the next two minutes, and forced to foul, the Hornets sent Gasol to the line with 20.8 seconds left. He made both. Marco Belinelli made a three with 15.1 seconds remaining to cut the Hornets deficit to four, but Bryant iced the game by sinking two from the line in the final seconds. Gasol posted 10 points in the first quarter as the Lakers took a 27-19 lead after the opening 12 minutes. Bryant added 10 of his own in the second quarter, however, the Hornets shot 13-of-21 from the field, cutting the Lakers' lead to 56-50 at the break.
The Hornets came alive in the third quarter, led by a 13 point, 5-of-5 from the field effort from Paul. New Orleans shot 65 percent from the floor, including two Paul three-pointers in the final minute, and took an 82-81 lead into the fourth quarter, their first lead of the night. Marcus Thornton added 14 points while Andersen and Aaron Gray added 11 and 10 points, respectively, for New Orleans...Odom scored nine points in a reserve role...New Orleans held a 42-37 rebounding advantage...The four turnovers for Los Angeles are the lowest for the team this year...New Orleans was also held without a steal in the game for the first time this year...The Lakers held the Hornets to zero fast break points.
For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.