1:08 PMLakers 101, Hornets 97: Jan. 7 Running Diary
Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Friday night home contest against New Orleans as the Lakers looked for their fifth win in six games since Andrew Bynum returned to the starting line up, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:
0:31.9 Phil Jackson replaced Andrew Bynum with Lamar Odom with about four minutes left, leaving the too-effective-to-rest Gasol out there, which would pay off again late as he found Shannon Brown on a back cut for the final bucket of the period, giving the Lakers a 27-24 lead. Yet it was the second quarter in New Orleans last week in which the Lakers blew the game open…
5:33 Despite shooting just 26 percent from three in the season, former Laker Trevor Ariza made his second triple of the game, and fourth field goal in five tries, to bring the Hornets within three. The Lakers had eased off a bit defensively, perhaps because shots were coming so easily at the other end, to allow New Orleans to stay in the mix.
0:49.4 Bryant’s long two gave him a game-high 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, continuing a terrific performance from the field for the whole Purple and Gold team that had ‘em at 62 percent, and up 49-41. The Hornets managed to pull a few points back with a triple and two Chris Paul free throws (just his third and fourth points of the half), the Lakers taking a 51-46 lead into the half.
5:49 The Hornets, however, responded with an 8-0 run capped by Marco Belinelli’s triple to take a 62-61 lead. The Lakers suddenly went cold from the field despite creating good shots, with Bryant missing all three of his attempts to that point in the quarter.
2:02 Leading the charge out of that poor offensive stretch was, naturally, Bryant, who set up Gasol and then Artest for back-to-back buckets, then made 1-of-2 two free throws to tie Oscar Robertson as the 9th all-time leading scorer in NBA history. Moments later, Bryant would bank in a hanging, running jumper to surpass the Big 0 and push his way further into the record books. Pretty amazing, and hard to put into perspective while he’s still playing at such a high level.
5:04 In that road win, Odom went off for 24 points, his career high off the bench. Tonight, he was even better despite a few less points, nailing three straight shots in the fourth to reach 17 points with 12 rebounds, two assists and two blocks, putting L.A. up 89-83.
1:23 Perhaps the most impressive of Bryant’s motley crew of tough shots on this evening was a left-handed floater over N.O.’s defense as he cut diagonally left through the paint, putting L.A. up 97-92 and essentially sealing the team’s fifth victory in six games since Bynum returned to the starting line up. Gasol would add three late foul shots to cap a terrific game in which he scored 20 points with 13 rebounds and seven assists. The final: Lakers 101, Hornets 97, L.A. winning for the fifth time in six games since Bynum returned to the starting line up.
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