Lakers vs. Hornets: Kobe surpasses 30,000 points in 103-87 win
Lakers 103, Hornets 87 (final)
On the night when Kobe Bryant eclipsed the 30,000-point milestone, the Lakers broke open a close game with a strong second half.
Playing on the second night of back-to-back road games, the Lakers took control with a 30-16 third-quarter effort while holding off every fourth-quarter run from the Hornets.
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.
Hornets 23, Lakers 20 (end of first quarter)
New Orleans took an early five-point lead over the Lakers, led by Ryan Anderson’s eight points.
The Lakers shot only 36.4% from the field, led by Kobe Bryant’s eight points, leaving him just five shy of 30,000 career points.
Dwight Howard put in seven but the team shot only eight of 22 from the field.
The Hornets dominated the boards with 17 to the Lakers’ nine. Anderson led New Orleans with seven boards.
The Lakers play on their second consecutive night Wednesday, visiting the New Orleans Hornets after a loss in Houston. Pau Gasol will sit again to rest his knees (tendinitis) while the Hornets will be without rookie center Anthony Davis (ankle) and veteran guard Eric Gordon (knee).
Forward Ryan Anderson and point guard Greivis Vasquez have played very well for the Hornets. The team has been competitive but closing out games has been difficult.
The Lakers have struggled, especially when teams intentionally foul Dwight Howard repeatedly in the fourth quarter. It’s a game the Lakers really need to win but the Hornets will not make that easy.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Hornets.
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