90 - 106 Final
  for this game

Balanced Lakers top Hornets, grab series lead

Apr 27, 2011 - 6:09 AM Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant led six Lakers in double figures with 19 points, as Los Angeles tipped this Western Conference quarterfinal series in its favor with a 106-90 Game 5 win over the New Orleans Hornets.

The second-seeded Lakers took a 3-2 series lead behind a balanced offensive attack. Andrew Bynum chipped in 18 points and 10 rebounds, Pau Gasol went for 16 and eight, and Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom added 13 points apiece for Los Angeles, which won the rebounding battle, 42-25.

Chris Paul, whose triple-double sparked the Hornets to a 93-88 win in Game 4 on Sunday, totaled 20 points and 12 assists on Tuesday. Trevor Ariza and Marco Belinelli added 22 and 21 points, respectively, in defeat.

Game 6 of the series is set for Thursday at New Orleans Arena.

"[Our confidence is] still high. We get to go back to our home court with our fans behind us," Paul said. "We don't have another game to fall back on. It's all or nothing for us ... I can't wait."

The Hornets made a spectacular 13-of-16 from the floor in the first quarter. Ariza led the way with 10 points, and Jarrett Jack's free throw just before the buzzer gave the visitors their biggest lead, 32-23.

The Lakers scored the first 10 points of the second quarter -- six coming on a pair of three-pointers by Shannon Brown -- and Bryant netted 12 points over the final 7:51 of the half to give the Lakers a three-point edge at the break.

Bryant, playing through an ankle injury suffered on Sunday, threw down a vintage tomahawk slam over Emeka Okafor during his scoring binge, then ended it with a driving bucket in the closing seconds for a 54-51 advantage.

"I had a lane to the basket," recalled Bryant of his highlight-reel dunk. "It looked like [Okafor] was going to challenge me at the rim and I accepted the challenge. It was a message for us that [this game] is important."

New Orleans made just one field goal over the first five minutes of the third quarter, allowing LA to extend its lead to 67-56 following a Ron Artest layup.

The deficit was twice cut to five, but the Lakers fended off the challenge. Ahead 79-72 entering the fourth, the two-time defending champions put the defensive clamps on again, with Paul's stepback jumper 1:15 in accounting for the Hornets' only points in the first five minutes of the final stanza.

Bynum scored six points on a quarter-opening 10-2 run, including two free throws for an 89-74 cushion.

It was a double-digit game the rest of the way.

Game Notes

Artest rounded out the Lakers' double-digit scorers with 11 points...The Lakers scored 22 second-chance points to the Hornets' two...The Lakers outscored the Hornets, 25-14, at the foul line...Both teams shot 49.3 percent from the field and had trouble securing the ball. The Hornets committed 19 turnovers and forced 16.