Lakers Swat Down Hornets 106-90, Take 3-2 Series Lead

Kobe Bryant led six Los Angeles Lakers players in double figures Tuesday night at the Staples Center as the Lakers came back from a first quarter deficit to defeat the New Orleans Hornets 106-90. Bryant had 19 points in the contest while Andrew Bynum racked up another double-double with 18 points in the win. Trevor Ariza scored a game high 22 points while Chris Paul had a double-double including 20 points for New Orleans in the contest. The win gives the Lakers a 3-2 series edge in the best of seven first round affair.

The Hornets looked like they were on their way to dominating their opponents in the first. Jarrett Jack split a pair at the charity stripe as the period came to an end and New Orleans would be on top 32-23. The momentum would switch to the home team during the second as the Hornets could not get their offense out of neutral during the period. Bryant drove the lane putting the ball up and through the cylinder with 7 seconds remaining and as the two teams left the floor when the game reached the half  the Lakers would hold  the upper hand with the score 54-51.

New Orleans never would really recover during the final 28 minutes of play. Derek Fisher split a pair at the line with 23 seconds to play in the third and Los Angeles would hold a 79-72 lead at the end of the period. The Hornets would quickly fall behind by double digits in the fourth quarter and never were able to rally for the rest of the period as Los Angeles took the contest.

 Bryant scored 19 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds and a steal while Bynum put up 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Pau Gasol had 16 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks while Derek Fisher added 13 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds, a block and a steal. Lamar  Odom came off the bench and put up 13 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, a block and a steal while Ron Artest chipped in 11 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds.

Ariza scored 22 points, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 rebounds for the night. Marco Belinelli knocked down 21 points, an assist and a steal while Paul had a double-double with  20 points, 12 assists, 4 rebounds and a steal for the Hornets. The Lakers hold a 3-2 series edge with game six to be played at New Orleans Arena on Thursday.

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