We broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 108-102 come-from-behind win at New Orleans:
Points for Kobe Bryant in 42 minutes of play, to go along with 12 assists and seven rebounds. Bryant did most of his damage in the second half, scoring 25 on 9 of 11 field goals – 7 of 8 towards 18 points in the fourth – while dishing out 11 dimes. In the fourth quarter, he scored 13 of the last 16 Laker points, including the final eight to cap L.A.’s comeback.
Plus-rating for Jodie Meeks, a team-high, as he scored 19 points off the bench. The sharpshooter played the entire fourth, converting on all four of his 3-pointers, while shutting down Eric Gordon in the second half (3 for 12 overall, including 0 of 5 in the fourth).
Turnovers the Lakers forced, which led to 31 points. New Orleans committed five miscues in the final 6:47 (six overall in the fourth that led to 12 points), allowing L.A. to crawl back into the game.
The Lakers held the Hornets scoreless for the last 6:47, finishing the game on a 20-0 run. L.A. erased a Hornets lead that was once at 25 points – a 19-point halftime deficit and 18 to start the fourth – after New Orleans put up 39 points in the second frame. It was the Lakers 10th straight win over New Orleans dating back to March 2010. “It’s about who is going to stick together and who is not going to break,” Bryant explained. “Even though we played a team that doesn’t have the best record in the world, I think this type of win really (helps) our bond.”
Blocked shots from Dwight Howard, none bigger than his left-handed rejection of Robin Lopez’s layup with L.A. nursing a 104-102 lead with 27 seconds left. Despite battling foul trouble throughout the game, he played all but a couple seconds in the second half and changed the game on the defensive end. The Hornets scored just nine in the fourth – a season-low for fourth-quarter points – on 4 of 17 field goals and the three-time Defensive Player of the Year was a key factor in that. “I think Dwight really started to smother the pick and roll,” coach Mike D’Antoni said postgame. “He smothered some balls and started to turn the tide.”