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       === Bryant eclipses 30,000 career points as Lakers top Hornets ===
 
 New  Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant became the fifth player in NBA
 history  to  eclipse 30,000 career points,  as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated
 the New Orleans Hornets, 103-87, on Wednesday.
 
 Bryant  entered  the elite scoring club  with 1:16 left in the second quarter,
 when  he made  a floating jumper in the  paint for his 13th and 14th points of
 the game.
 
 "It's  pretty awesome,"  said  Bryant, who  joined  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,  Karl
 Malone,  Michael Jordan  and Wilt Chamberlain in the 30,000-point club. "These
 are  players  I respect  tremendously  and  obviously  grew up  idolizing  and
 watching and learned a great deal from."
 
 Bryant (34 years, 104 days) became the youngest player in NBA history to reach
 the milestone. He had 29 points and six rebounds on Wednesday.
 
 Dwight  Howard  added 18 points, eight  boards and five blocks for the Lakers,
 who  snapped a  two-game skid. Antawn Jamison and Metta World Peace donated 15
 and 11 points, respectively.
 
 World  Peace  became the sixth player  in NBA history to record 12,000 points,
 4,000  rebounds,  1,000 3-pointers and  1,500 steals  in a career. Only Reggie
 Miller,  Bryant, Gary  Payton, Jason Kidd and Paul Pierce have gotten to those
 marks in their careers.
 
 Ryan  Anderson made five 3-pointers en route to 31 points for the Hornets, who
 have  lost eight in  a row against the Lakers. Greivis Vasquez and Robin Lopez
 had 16 and 15 points, respectively.
 
 New  Orleans  led by  seven late in  the first quarter,  but Bryant scored the
 final four points of the frame to cut the gap to 23-20.
 
 The  Hornets used  a 7-0 spurt late in  the second stanza to take a 44-36 lead
 with 2:35 to go.
 
 Trailing  by five, 45-40, Bryant made a floating jumper in the lane to surpass
 30,000 career points. Bryant added three free throws before the half was over,
 getting Los Angeles within one, 48-47.
 
 "I  know in the first half they had 10 offensive rebounds and the night before
 we  gave  up 21," said Lakers coach  Mike D'Antoni.  "It was killing us in the
 first  half,  so we  talked about  it at half,  and played  much better in the
 second half."
 
 The  Lakers  scored the  first 13 points  of the second  half to gain control.
 Howard  and  Bryant tallied  five points  apiece during the  surge to give the
 visitors a 60-48 lead with 7:53 left in the third.
 
 Los  Angeles  outscored New Orleans  by a 30-16 margin  in the third period to
 take a 77-64 edge into the fourth.
 
 "The  starters came  out in  the third  quarter and  they were  a little  more
 determined,"  said Hornets  guard Roger Mason Jr. "We didn't have the juice or
 energy like they did. They turned their games up and broke open the game."
 
 The Hornets never got closer than 11 in the final frame.
 
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 The Lakers have won five straight at New Orleans ... Los Angeles went 13-of-28
 from  beyond  the arc ... Lakers  forward Pau Gasol missed his second straight
 game due to knee tendinitis.
 
 
 12/06 02:19:21 ET

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