Lakers take 2-1 lead over HornetsApr 23, 2011 - 5:44 AM New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant scored 30 points, Pau Gasol came alive for 17 and the Los Angeles Lakers pulled away for a 100-86 win over New Orleans to take a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference quarterfinals series.
After splitting two games in Los Angeles, the teams will meet again in New Orleans for Game 4 on Sunday.
The Hornets have now dropped two straight since surprising the Lakers to take Game 1. Although this one was never out of reach until the fourth quarter, the Hornets never had a lead after Chris Paul's layup made it 6-4.
Paul scored just four of his 22 points in the second half as New Orleans went down without a fight. Carl Landry led the Hornets with 23 points, Emeka Okafor scored 15 and Trevor Ariza had 12.
The difference for LA -- besides Bryant dropping 30 on 10-of-20 shooting -- may have been Gasol. The Lakers finally got some production out of their star forward after he went a combined 4-of-19 for 16 points in Games 1 and 2.
Gasol shot 7-of-13, adding 10 rebounds, and scored 13 of his points in the second half, including seven during a key run in the fourth quarter.
"Pau helped open things up," said Bryant.
The Lakers also got 14 points and 11 rebounds from Andrew Bynum while Sixth Man of the Year Lamar Odom had 13 points and nine boards off the bench.
They shot nearly 49 percent and pulled down 14 offensive rebounds, scoring 17 second-chance points. They committed 13 turnovers, leading to 17 New Orleans points, but forced the Hornets into 14 giveaways for 16 points.
"They've rebounded the ball well," Hornets head coach Monty Williams said of the Lakers. "We've forced stops and we are not able to get the rebound. ... They have a lot of things in their favor -- the length, they are probably a lot bigger than we are, but the rebounding to a degree is about attitude and we just have to believe we can get those rebounds. I think it will make our game a lot easier."
Mostly, though, the second-seeded Lakers pulled away at the right time.
They took control with a 10-1 run early in the final quarter, stretching their lead to 14 points at 85-71 with under nine minutes remaining. Gasol scored seven points during the burst, including a three-pointer to spark it, and the Lakers went ahead by as many as 18 down the stretch.
"The big aspect was Pau having that two, three minutes of offensive display there in the fourth quarter," said LA coach Phil Jackson. "It helped establish the lead and give us some room."
They out-shot New Orleans 47-35 percent in the fourth and outscored them 25-18, putting the finishing touches on a victory that was nearly wire-to- wire.
Ron Artest and Bryant had back-to-back three-point plays in the first quarter to break a tie and give LA the lead for good at 16-10.
"We were able to hold that momentum," said Jackson.
Eighteen first-half points from Paul kept New Orleans from getting its doors blown off, and the Hornets trailed 30-23 heading into the second quarter and 51-42 at the break.
Bryant knocked down a couple of three-pointers early in the third quarter -- he was 4-of-7 in the game -- to give LA a double-digit lead. Still, the Hornets were as close as five late in the frame and trailed only 75-68 heading into the fourth.
The Lakers bench outscored the Hornets' 20-9...There were only two lead changes and four ties in the game -- all in the first quarter...Bryant added six rebounds, two assists and three steals, but also committed four of LA's 13 turnovers.
- LOS ANGELES: 100
NEW ORLEANS: 86
Apr 23 12:07 AM
- LOS ANGELES: 75
NEW ORLEANS: 68
End of 3rd
Apr 22 11:29 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 51
NEW ORLEANS: 42
Apr 22 10:39 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 30
NEW ORLEANS: 23
End of 1st
Apr 22 10:06 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 0
NEW ORLEANS: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 22 9:42 PM
- NBA's 6-city tour lets US catch up in 3-on-3 basketball May 21
- Entering Hollywood, Kobe Bryant gets advice from Spielberg May 20
- Cavs 9-0 in these playoffs, and joining rarefied NBA air May 18
- 76ers win NBA draft lottery, Lakers stay at No. 2, keep pick May 17
- After lots of losing, 76ers hope to win big in NBA lottery May 17
- Jim McMillian, forward on '72 Lakers title team, dead at 68 May 16
- Clarification: Stars fuel hope for mid-major prospects May 13
- LeBron says Curry deserves MVP, debates meaning of award May 11
- Stephen Curry is first unanimous NBA MVP, takes honor again May 10
- Hornets PG Kemba Walker has another surgery on left knee May 9
- Kobe Bryant's animated short gets assist from John Williams May 5
- Former Lakers coach Byron Scott 'shocked' over firing May 5