Lakers vs. New Orleans: Lakers defeat Hornets, 101-97
In 14-plus NBA seasons, Kobe Bryant has 26,720 points, putting him in ninth place on the league's all-time scoring list.
Bryant scored 25 points Friday night in helping the Lakers defeat the Hornets, 101-97, at Staples Center.
Bryant had plenty of help, as five Lakers scored in double figures.
Pau Gasol had 21 points, including a free throw that clinched it with 2.6 seconds left, giving the Lakers a 101-97 lead. Gasol also had 13 rebounds and seven assists.
Andrew Bynum 17 points, Lamar Odom 17 points and 13 rebounds and Ron Artest 12 points.
Lakers 80, Hornets 71 (end of third quarter)
During a third quarter in which Kobe Bryant moved up the NBA's all-time scoring chart, the bad news came earlier when it was announced that forward Matt Barnes had suffered a sprained right knee in the second quarter of Friday night's game and wouldn't return.
Bryant entered the game needing 15 points to pass Oscar Robertson for ninth on the league's all-time scoring list.
Bryant scored his 17th point on a hanging runner in the lane over former teammate Trevor Ariza late in the third.
Bryant had 19 points by the end of the third quarter, giving him 26,714 points.
Lakers pubic relations director John Black said Barnes will get an MRI exam on his knee Saturday.
With Barnes out, starter Ron Artest scored eight points in the third quarter, playing almost 10 minutes.
Lakers 51, Hornets 46 (end of first half)
By halftime, the Lakers were shooting 60.6% from the field.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 14 points on five-for-seven shooting.
Pau Gasol had 11 points on four-for-four shooting, andAndrew Bynum had 10 points at the half.
Lakers 27, Hornets 24 (end of first quarter)
Pau Gasol was the inside man for the Lakers in the first quarter, having his way against the smaller New Orleans Hornets.
Gasol scored 11 points on four-for-four shooting. He also had five rebounds and two assists.
The Lakers seemingly had an easy time against the Hornets, shooting 71.4% from the field.
After giving former Lakers teammate DJ Mbenga, a backup center for the Hornets, his championship ring, Kobe Bryant came out and hit a three-pointer to start the game.
From that point, the Hornets mixed in some zone defense with their man-to-man coverage.
Lakers forward Lamar Odom, who has a sore left shoulder, said he would play Friday night against the New Orleans Hornets at Staples Center.
"I'll warm it up a little bit," Odom said. "I'll just take my time, let the game come to me."
Odom was injured during the fourth quarter of Wednesday night's game at Phoenix.
Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, whose team defeated the Hornets last week in New Orleans, said the idea is for the Lakers to go inside to 7-footers Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.
-- Broderick Turner
Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant passes to a teammate after drawing the Hornets defense to him in the lane Friday night. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times