Kobe, Gasol struggle, but Lakers win Game 2Apr 21, 2011 - 6:46 AM Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Andrew Bynum made up for lackluster efforts from his All-Star teammates, posting 17 points and 11 rebounds to help the Los Angeles Lakers take Game 2 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series with the New Orleans Hornets, 87-78, at Staples Center.
"Andrew plays well against this team because of his size. This was one of his top games," said Lakers head coach Phil Jackson. "We had trouble scoring against their defense, [but] our defense was better tonight."
Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol combined for just 19 points on 5-of-20 shooting for the Lakers, who were upset in Game 1 on their home floor but rebounded Wednesday by holding the Hornets to 39 percent shooting.
Lamar Odom, fresh off being named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year, donated 16 points while Ron Artest added 15 for LA.
Chris Paul ended with 20 points and nine assists and Trevor Ariza chipped in 22 points and seven rebounds for the Hornets, who head home for Game 3 on Friday with the series tied.
New Orleans committed 16 turnovers, 13 more than Sunday's Game 1 shocker.
The seventh-seeded Hornets essentially shut down Bryant and Gasol through three quarters, but still trailed, 63-56, heading to the fourth.
Paul got a mid-range jumper to fall from the left elbow two minutes into the final frame, getting the underdogs as close as 65-59.
With Bryant on the bench, the Lakers responded with seven quick points, going up by double-digits on Shannon Brown's three-pointer.
Gasol added two free throws with 6:45 to go, and it stayed a double-digit game until Ariza converted a three-point play for a 79-70 game with 4:02 showing.
After trading baskets, Emeka Okafor was short on a hook shot in the lane that could have cut the deficit to seven. Ariza made two free throws on New Orleans' next possession, but they came with just 77 seconds remaining.
Gasol corralled an offensive rebound at the other end, and Artest buried a three-pointer to sew up the much-needed win.
"They were more aggressive," Paul said. "We didn't play to our potential."
If the Hornets were content with Game 1's 109-100 victory, they didn't show it early, rattling off 10 straight points to go up, 20-11, on an Aaron Gray jump hook a little over eight minutes into the game.
The Lakers withstood the barrage and tied the game, 23-23, going into a second quarter that saw the Lakers hit 11-of-17 from the floor.
The Hornets were held without a field goal for five-plus minutes in the frame, and the subsequent 14-2 run -- capped by a Gasol bank shot -- yielded a 45-33 Lakers lead with 2:10 remaining in the half.
Paul beat the halftime buzzer with a three-pointer to pull the Hornets within 47-41, then did the same in the third quarter to end an ugly offensive 12 minutes from both teams.
Bryant, who put up 26 shots in Game 1 despite bruising his neck before halftime, made 3-for-10 from the floor and wound up with 11 points in just under 35 minutes...Carl Landry scored 12 points for the Hornets, who were outscored in the paint, 50-32...Steve Blake, sidelined for the past week because of chickenpox, played nearly 18 minutes and handed out five assists...The Hornets shot 10 more free throws than the Lakers but shot just 20-of-32...The Lakers are 28-12 when they split the first two games of a playoff series.
- NEW ORLEANS: 78
LOS ANGELES: 87
Apr 21 1:20 AM
- NEW ORLEANS: 56
LOS ANGELES: 63
End of 3rd
Apr 21 12:40 AM
- NEW ORLEANS: 41
LOS ANGELES: 47
Apr 20 11:50 PM
- NEW ORLEANS: 23
LOS ANGELES: 23
End of 1st
Apr 20 11:14 PM
- NEW ORLEANS: 0
LOS ANGELES: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 20 10:47 PM
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