NBA Game Summary - LA Lakers at New Orleans
(Monday, March 29th)
Final Score: New Orleans 108, LA Lakers 100
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - David West scored 20 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead a balanced attack, as the New Orleans Hornets held off the Los Angeles Lakers, 108-100, at New Orleans Arena.
Marcus Thornton added 18 points for the Hornets, who improved to 2-2 on a five-game homestand that ends Wednesday against the Wizards. Darren Collison donated 17 points off the bench, while Chris Paul chipped in 15 points and 13 assists for the victors.
"All the players were outstanding tonight," Hornets head coach Jeff Bower said. "Being a team like that, we were aggressive and came out good early. Our defense put us in a position to push the ball and each player deserves credit for their effort."
Kobe Bryant finished with 31 points, six assists, and five rebounds for the Lakers, who dropped to 2-2 on a five-game road trip that concludes Wednesday in Atlanta.
Pau Gasol tallied 26 points and 22 rebounds while Ron Artest had 14 and seven for Los Angeles, which is five games ahead of Dallas for first in the Western Conference. The Mavericks beat the Nuggets on Monday.
Trailing 21-17 late in the first quarter, the Hornets bridged the first and second periods with an 18-1 run. Collison made a pair of three-pointers during the burst, which West capped with a jumper to make it 35-22 with 8 1/2 minutes left until half. The home team held a 50-42 edge at the break.
Los Angeles chipped away at its deficit in the third and was down by two, 58-56, on Bryant's jumper near the midway point. But New Orleans responded with a period-ending 19-7 spurt. Collison had seven points during the surge, including a three-point play to make it 77-63 heading to the fourth.
Down 87-70 early in the fourth, the Lakers put together a 14-2 run to pull within five. Jordan Farmar's trey made it 89-84 with under 4 1/2 minutes to play. West stopped the bleeding with a jumper and the Hornets led by at least five the rest of the way.
"We just need to be a little bit more active defensively, we need to cover each other's back a little more, we need to scramble and bring that energy to the defensive end," Gasol said. "Then we can get stops and play better offense. We got some good looks offensively, most of the time we would knock those down, but tonight they didn't really fall. They shot the ball a lot better than we did."
The Lakers win the season series with the Hornets, 2-1...New Orleans shot 49.3 percent from the field, while Los Angeles made 41.8 percent of its shots...The Hornets went 26-of-34 from the foul line, while the Lakers went 17-of-22 from the charity stripe.
03/30 00:34:37 ET