We broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 103-87 win at New Orleans:
Career points for Kobe Bryant, who became the fifth player in NBA history to break the 30,000 barrier on a lofted right-handed leaner over an outstretched Robin Lopez in the second quarter. He finished with 29 points on 10 for 17 from the floor, six boards and four dimes on the night, his first time in five games shooting at least 50 percent after he opened the season doing so in nine of the first 12 games ever.
Points the Hornets scored in the second half, including just 16 in the third quarter on a 5 for 18 clip (27.8 percent), when the Lakers erased a 1-point halftime deficit and took a 13-point lead into the fourth. “I felt like Dwight just turned into a monster out there in the second half and controlled the paint defensively,” said Bryant. Howard swatted away five shots on the night and changed many others, and his teammates did a much better job of recovering to his man and not allowing second chance points in the second half.
Assists in two starts for Chris Duhon, who notched a season high 10 versus zero turnovers against the Hornets, drawing praise from Mike D’Antoni after the game, who essentially said he loved Duhon’s floor game. Aren’t the Lakers glad Duhon was in the Howard trade now, particularly with Steve Nash and Steve Blake out? Knowing D’Antoni’s system from his days in New York is certainly big.
Three-pointers for the Lakers, out of 28 attempts (46.4 percent), with Metta World Peace, Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks all draining three from deep. Darius Morris got into the act as well despite struggling offensively in his previous several games, hitting one to close the third quarter that put the Lakers up 13 points, and another early in the fourth, allowing L.A.’s starters to rest for much of the final period.
Thirteen was also the number of consecutive points the Lakers scored to start the second half, turning a game they trailed by one at halftime on its head.
Turnovers for the Lakers, their lowest output of the season, after 18 miscues against Houston the previous night.
Other players in NBA history to record 12,000 points, 4,000 rebounds, 1,000 3-pointers and 1,500 steals, Metta World Peace becoming the sixth with a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter that put him over the 12,000 point mark. Not a bad list to join: Kobe; Ray Allen; Paul Pierce; Jason Kidd and Reggie Miller.
Offensive rebounds for the Hornets in the second half, after the Lakers allowed 10 in the first half and 21 against Houston on the previous night.