Inactives for Tonight’s Game:
Hornets: Chris Andersen, Rasual Butler,
Lakers: Trevor Ariza, Andrew Bynum, Coby Karl
11:03 Odom gives the amped up crowd something to cheer about early, scoring the first basket of the game for either team on a layup underneath the basket. With Chandler picking up an early foul for the Hornets, Lamar and the rest of his teammates would be wise to continue to drive deep into the lane.
9:24 Fisher continues the Lakers’ hot start from the field, nailing a wide-open three pointer to put the Lakers up 7-2 early. On the Lakers’ next possession, Derek drilled another long-range shot after a nice pass from Kobe who was double-teamed by Paul and West.
8:00 Emotions are running high early for both teams, as Radmanovic and Chandler squabble, resulting in a flagrant foul of on Vladi and a technical foul for the Hornets center as well.
6:22 Odom has been a factor inside early, this time as the recipient of a great pass from Kobe that leads to two foul shots and more importantly, the first foul on CHris Paul. Lamar has six points on the night to tie Fisher for the team lead.
4:41 Gasol muscles down against West and knocks in an easy jump hook for his fourth point of the night. The Lakers are still riding an incredible wave of momentum to open the game, now up 20-11 with #24 only scoring two points so far.
3:55 Kobe’s steals the ball and passes to Fisher who ignites an electric fast break for the Lakers that results in a breakaway dunk from Pau that gets everyone out of their seats. The Lakers have bumped their lead to a game-high 13 points at 24-11.
2:55 Walton and Farmar enter the game for the first time tonight.
2:30 Kobe scores his first basket since the opening minutes of the game, giving him four on the night and the Lakers an impressive 30-14 lead with two and a half to go in the first quarter.
12:00 Turiaf and Vujacic are on the floor to open the second quarter with the Lakers leading 39-20.
10:26 Ronny gets a little too physical inside and becomes the second Laker to pick up a technical foul tonight.
8:53 Farmar’s first three pointer (and field goal) pushes the Lakers lead to a game-high 24 points at 46-22 going into the timeout. The Lakers have dominated the game so far in almost every statistical category led by 11 points each from Gasol and Odom to go along with Kobe’s 10. Out of the timeout, Kobe and Gasol return to try and continue to build on the seemingly unfathomable lead.
7:29 The lead’s up to 27 after a great drive by Farmar off of Walton’s pass results in an uncontested layup for Jordan’s fifth point of the night.
6:49 Fisher enters the game to replace a highly productive Farmar.
5:47 Odom returns for the Lakers.
5:05 Gasol makes a great pass to a driving Radmanovic who connects on even more spectacular layup that bumps the Lakers lead to 26. On the Lakers’ next possession, Gasol does it himself, swishing a jumper to tie Kobe for the team lead in scoring with 13.
3:03 Instead of going up for a highly contested layup attempt, Kobe dishes the ball to Pau who dunks the ball and reclaims a 28 point lead for the Lakers at 65-37.
1:48 Vujacic returns for the Lakers, looking to add to his five points.
HALFTIME: The Lakers manhandled the Hornets in shocking fashion in the first half, up by 20 points at the break 65-45. L.A.’s trio of stars was exceptional in the first half, led by 15 points a piece from Kobe and Pau along with 11 from Odom. Lamar also had an incredible 12 rebounds in the first half as well to lead both teams. If tonight’s game is an audition for Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant for this season’s MVP award, #24 is the clear winner so far with the Hornets guard only scoring seven points and dishing out 7 assists. As a team, the Lakers shot 55% compared to just 44% for New Orleans.
10:49 Two free throws by Pau help stymie the Hornet’s momentum after New Orleans cut the score to 16 with consecutive makes to start the game. Gasol now leads the team in scoring with 17. It’s early in the second half, but the Hornets are already showing much more confidence on both ends of the floor.
8:32 After the Hornets trimmed the lead to 14, Fisher bails the Lakers out, nailing a highly contested fadeaway jumper from just inside the arc as the shot clock expired. With the make, Fisher joins the Lakers’ trio of Pau, Kobe and Lamar in double figures.
7:09 Just like that, the lead is down to 10 and a once rambunctious crowd has been silenced for the time being. While the Hornets weren’t horrible on offense in the first half, they struggled mightily on defense–an area of the game it looks like they have remedied five minutes into the second half.
4:48 Odom dunks the ball with authority after New Orleans miraculously cut what was once almost a 30 point lead down to only five on Peterson’s three from the left corner.
3:35 Walton and Farmar return to the floor as Gasol tries to build on what is now only a four point lead with two from the charity stripe. Good news for the Lakers though as Chandler picked up his fourth personal on the play.
3:03 Kobe gets his most raucous “MVP” chant of the night as heads to the line to complete a three point play after driving deep into the lane for the layup. With the make, the Lakers lead is back up to seven with three minutes to go in the third quarter.
2:18 Bryant drives into the lane again, with Paul picking up his fourth foul this time. It looks like Byron Scott is leaving his All-Star guard and Chandler in the game for the time being though.
1:31 Gasol dunks the ball for his 21st point on a tremendous pass by Bryant. The Lakers seem to have recaptured a little bit of the momentum too, now up 82-73.
12:00 It was just announced that Chris Paul picked up a T during the quarter break. Kobe makes the ensuing free throw for an eight point L.A. lead.
10:43 Farmar ignites the sold out crowd, drilling the three after the pass from a double-teamed Kobe. While much of the pre-game talk centered around the Hornet’s guards, it’s been the Lakers’ guards that have been the biggest difference makers tonight, with Jordan chipping in eight points.
9:24 Kobe makes connects on one of the most amazing highlights of the season, snatching the loose ball and throwing down a vicious reverse dunk that sends STAPLES Center into pandemonium. Kobe has 25 points on the night on an impressive 9-14 from the field.
7:32 Chris Paul just picked up a critical fifth foul for the Hornets and will be forced to the sidelines, with Mike James entering the game.
6:22 A little more than a minute later and Chandler picks up his fifth foul with the Lakers lead only at six at 93-87. Turiaf comes into the game out of the timeout for the purple and gold.
5:31 With the lead down to four, Sasha launches a three with ease that hits nothing, but net. Just like that though, Peja nails one from beyond the arc for the Hornets to bring it down to four again, 96-92.
4:43 Fisher and returns to the floor for L.A. and it looks like Odom will be right behind him.
4:17 Paul returns for New Orleans for the stretch run.
3:30 Another three by Peja cuts the lead to just one, but Ronny makes two clutch free throws after a hard foul sends him careening to the ground.
2:57 Gasol returns for L.A. and the Hornets counter by bringing back Chandler.
1:10 After making two great defensive plays in a row, the Lakers finally connect on offense with Gasol’s baby hook rattling in for a 104-97 lead with a minute to go.
47.9 After a make by West on the Hornet’s end, Peja fouls Kobe sending him to the line for two. Bryant makes both clutch shots for a 106-99 Lakers lead.
06.5 Peja tries another three, but it misses wildly and the Hornets immediately foul Bryant, sending the guard to the line for another pair. He only makes one, but the Lakers don’t need it anyway.
FINAL SCORE: Hornets 104, Lakers 107