On the night when Kobe Bryant eclipsed the 30,000-point milestone, the Lakers broke open a close game with a strong second half.
Ryan Anderson was the game's leading scorer with 31 points but it wasn't nearly enough.
Bryant finished with 29 points on 10-of-17 shooting, but it was Dwight Howard's defense that changed the game. Howard blocked five shots, frustrating the Hornets, especially in the pivotal third quarter.
Bryant cleared 30,000 points late in the second quarter when he drove from the right wing and hit a floating jumper over Hornets center Robin Lopez.
Jordan Hill was productive off the bench with nine points and eight boards. Antawn Jamison (15 points), starting for injured Pau Gasol, and Metta World Peace (11) also scored in double figures.
The Lakers as a team shot 46.2% from the field and 46.4% from three-point range. The Hornets shot 41.2% and 36.8%, respectively.
Lakers 77, Hornets 64 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers opened the third quarter by scoring 13 unanswered points to take control of the game. The Lakers scored 16 straight in the game, going back to the second quarter, until Greivis Vasquez finally hit a floating jumper with 6:52 left in the third.
When the quarter had come to a close, the Lakers scored 30 to New Orleans' 16.
While the Lakers improved their shooting percentage as a team to 47.5%, the lead was gained by playing defense. The Hornets have dipped to 37.7% shooting for the game and their early rebounding advantage has been reduced to only one, 36-35.
Hornets forward Ryan Anderson leads all scorers with 25 points. Kobe Bryant has 24 points to lead the Lakers.
Antawn Jamison was able to shake off a twisted ankle without coming out of the game.
Hornets 48, Lakers 47 (halftime)
Kobe Bryant surpassed the 30,000-point plateua with 1:16 left in the second quarter, helping the Lakers climb back from an eight-point deficit against the Hornets on Wednesday night in New Orleans.
Bryant finished the half with 17 points and 30,004 for his career, leading all scorers. The Lakers shot 42.5% from the field but improved defensively, holding the Hornets to 41.2% from the field.
New Orleans was led by Ryan Anderson's 16 points and nine rebounds. Robin Lopez hit five of six from the field for 10 points.
The Lakers also got 10 points from Antawn Jamison, nine from Dwight Howard and eight from Metta World Peace.