Final - OT
  for this game

Lakers outlast Hornets in overtime thriller

Feb 21, 2009 - 7:52 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- It doesn't take long for the Los Angeles Lakers to turn a slim advantage into a lofty lead.

That didn't stop the New Orleans Hornets from creating some nervous moments down the stretch.

Kobe Bryant scored 11 of his 39 points in overtime as the Lakers escaped with a 115-111 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Friday.

"It's a great win. Anytime you have a game like that where you kind of see-saw down the stretch like that and come out with a win it's always good," Bryant said. "I was getting some good shots (in overtime). So, I had to take my time and knock them down."

Pau Gasol had 20 points and 12 rebounds and Lamar Odom added 12 and 17 for Los Angeles, which led by four at halftime before pouring in 34 points in the third quarter to carry a 79-66 advantage into the final session.

"We had a nice opportunity to get another win here and luckily we were able to play well and play hard in overtime and get it done," Gasol said.

Chris Paul added 21 points and 16 assists for the Hornets, who outscored the Lakers, 32-16, in the fourth quarter before Derek Fisher's 3-pointer with 14 seconds remaining forced overtime.

"The last thing I said in the huddle was don't give up any threes," New Orleans coach Byron Scott said. "Twos can't beat us, but we gave up a three to Fisher. Bottom line - we gave them the win."

The Lakers jumped out to a 106-100 lead with 1:22 remaining in the extra session, before a layup by Antonio Daniels - who replaced Paul after the point guard fouled out - and James Posey's 3-pointer pulled New Orleans within one point.

A three-point play by Bryant pushed the lead back to four, but Rasual Butler followed with a three-point play of his own.

Fisher hit both free throws on the other end to make it 111-108 and, after Posey missed a three, Bryant hit two foul shots to ice the victory.

"We were fortunate enough to make one more play," Odom said. "Basketball is a game of runs. We made the last one and the longest one to win the game."

With most of the starters on the bench to start the fourth quarter, the Hornets went on a 19-8 run to pull within 87-85 on Posey's 3-pointer with 6:48 remaining in the game.

Bryant came back in the game, and after Ariza made a free throw to push the lead back to three, Bryant took the ball in the post and kicked out to Fisher, whose three re-established a six-point advantage.

The Hornets responded with a 10-2 run, taking their first lead of the second half when Paul converted a pair of free throws for a 95-93 lead.

Gasol's tip-in tied the game, but Paul penetrated and found Posey on the left wing for a 3-pointer, the team's fifth of the fourth quarter.

"Well, I wasn't happy with the ballgame," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "I thought we made it a lot harder on ourselves, which we have to give New Orleans credit for. They came out in the fourth quarter and hit a bunch of three's. I don't think we were intent enough about covering them up, we knew they would eventually start hitting."

Fisher's three tied the game, 98-98, and, after choosing not to call a timeout, Paul's last-second jumper missed as the Hornets went to overtime for the first time this season.

"We don't call a timeout, we knew what we wanted to do," Paul said. "I missed the shot and we live with it."