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Lakers-Hornets Game 4: New Orleans wins, 93-88, to even series at two games apiece

Lakers2_510New Orleans 93, Lakers 88 (final)

The Lakers ensured they will have to make one more trip to New Orleans, turning what was supposed to be a straightforward first-round series into a deeply competitive matchup.

The Hornets defeated the Lakers, 93-88, on Sunday night at New Orleans Arena in Game 4, tying the series, 2-2. Game 5 is on Tuesday at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Hornets point guard Chris Paul was at his dazzling best, finishing with a triple-double: 27 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds. His final assist was especially clutch, hitting teammate Jarrett Jack with 9.3 seconds left.

Jack, who had been scoreless, put down a seven-foot jumper in the lane to give the Hornets a 90-86 lead and then hit three free throws in the final seconds to seal the victory.

Kobe Bryant, who went scoreless in the first half, finished with 17 points while Ron Artest and Pau Gasol each had 16 points.

Reserve forward Lamar Odom was hardly a factor, finishing with six points on one-for-seven shooting from the field.

The Lakers were outrebounded, 39-32, and New Orleans had a huge edge in second-chance points, 20-4.

RELATED:

Lakers-Hornets Game 4 box score

Lakers-Hornets Game 4 photo gallery

Hornets 86, Lakers 82 (1:32 left in game)

With 1:32 remaining, Kobe Bryant rolled his left ankle in pursuit of Hornets guard Willie Green and looked to be in visible pain. He attempted to walk off the pain during the Lakers' timeout.

It is the same ankle that has been troubling Bryant, who first refused to be substituted until Coach Phil Jackson whistled at him and waved him to the bench.

Bryant returned to the game less than a minute later and drove to the basket, passing to Pau Gasol, who fumbled the ball way.

Chris Paul got the ball and was fouled. Paul made both free throws for an 88-84 Hornets lead with 1:12 left.

Hornets 81, Lakers 77 (5:40 left in fourth quarter)

The Lakers keep creeping back after having trailed by as many as nine points when the Hornets' Chris Paul hit a step-back, 15-foot jumper with 6:13 remaining.

But Steve Blake started a five-point run for the Lakers with his three-pointer and Kobe Bryant followed up with a 10-foot jumper in the lane to cut the New Orleans lead to four.

Hornets 69, Lakers 67 (end of third quarter)

Chris Paul had his triple-double sealed and delivered with about two minutes left in the quarter. He has 13 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds, and it was the second time he has pulled off a triple-double in the playoffs.

Paul’s last triple-double was Dec. 29, 2009. The last player to record a triple-double against the Lakers in the playoffs was Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, who did so last year. 

Then there was Kobe Bryant’s homage to the past: A junior sky hook in the lane.  Bryant has 14 points, all coming in the third quarter.

The Hornets have 17 second-chance points to two for the Lakers.

Hornets 61, Lakers 60 (3:39 left in third quarter)

This quarter is coming down to Chris Paul vs. Kobe Bryant.

After going scoreless in the first half, Bryant has started to pour it on, scoring 10 points in the third quarter to pull the Lakers to within one.

Paul, ever his nemesis, has 11 points and 11 assists.

Hornets 57, Lakers 52 (8:17 left in third quarter)

Bulletin: Kobe Bryant has scored. Bryant, who missed his first seven shots from the field, finally made one on attempt No. 8, hitting a 12-foot jumper with 9:28 left in the quarter.

By the way, the last time he went scoreless in a half in a playoff game was on May 25, 2004, against the Timberwolves. That was in the first half and he went on to finish with 22 points. 

--Lisa Dillman

Hornets 49, Lakers 45 (at halftime)

Hornets center Emeka Okafor hit a jumper from the baseline just before the buzzer to give the Hornets a four-point lead at halftime.

Hornets guard Chris Paul returned to the game after getting hit in the eye by Lakers forward Ron Artest and helped lead a spurt at the end of the quarter. Paul had nine assists and four points in the first half.

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant had a strange half. He missed all seven of his shots from the field, missed a technical foul shot and is scoreless. Bryant does have seven assists.

Much of the offense in the first half came from two players who swapped spots on the Lakers two summers ago.

Artest hit seven of nine shots and leads the Lakers with 16 points.

Meanwhile, former Laker Trevor Ariza has 16 points for the Hornets.

Lakers 36, Hornets 33 (5:48 left in second quarter)

It's a battle of the second units and Hornets reserve center Aaron Gray has kept his team close with three baskets and seven points in the quarter.

Chris Paul is on the Hornets' bench with a cut and swelling by his right eye after getting hit by Ron Artest on a jump ball.

Artest made another shot just before the timeout and has 11 points to lead the Lakers.

Trevor Ariza has 14 points in 15 minutes on the court for the Hornets.

Lakers 25, Hornets 22 (end of first quarter)

There wasn't much defense in the first quarter: The Lakers shot 50% from the field, the Hornets shot 60%.

The Lakers' offense came from an unlikely source: Ron Artest, who led them with nine points in the quarter on four-of-six shooting. Pau Gasol was very active inside and has eight points, although he picked up his second personal foul late in the quarter.

Former Laker Trevor Ariza is generating most of the Hornets' offense, hitting six of eight shots for 12 points.

Kobe Bryant missed his first three shots and was scoreless.

Andrew Bynum also went to the bench with two fouls with about three minutes left in the quarter.

The  Hornets went on an 8-0 run late in the quarter to close the gap.

Lakers 14, Hornets 6 (6:45 left in first quarter)

Pau Gasol was looking to shoot early and he took four shots in the first four minutes, hitting two of them. He leads the Lakers with six points.

Ron Artest also had a good start, hitting a three-pointer while grabbing a steal and driving down the court for a layup.

The Hornets have been mostly relying on outside shots but already have two turnovers. Chris Paul has assisted in two of their three baskets.

--Barry Stavro

-----

New Orleans Coach Monty Williams told the media before Sunday's Game 4 against the Lakers that he showed his team a video that he hoped would inspire the Hornets, who trail, 2-1, in the best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series.

Williams also said that Chris Paul jammed his left thumb Friday night in Game 3, but that would not stop the All-Star guard from playing.

During a video session at practice Saturday, Williams showed his team a clip called "Battle at Kruger National Park."

Williams said it was about a small buffalo getting taken away by some lions. A group of crocodiles battle the lions for the buffalo. Then a herd of buffalo come back and take it to the lions.

Williams said the idea was to tell his team, "Don't give up."

Williams said Paul wasn't sure when he got injured during Game 3.

Paul did score 18 points on eight-for-10 shooting in the first half and just four points on one-for-three shooting in the second half.

Williams pulled Paul out late in Game 3 to make sure the guard didn't get hurt any more.

"He looked OK yesterday in our practice," Williams said. "We were thankful that it wasn't the wrist, it wasn't in the joint."

Williams also said that Lakers big men Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol are breaking rules and getting away with it.

"They're in the paint more than three seconds," Williams said. "You can put that on record. It's embarrassing."

Williams said the Hornets have had "communication" with the NBA about it.

"They looked at it," Williams said. "They agreed on some and some they haven't. They were pretty gracious about it. But again, that's not the game."

-- Broderick Turner

-----

There have been two constants in the Lakers-Hornets series heading into Game 4 tonight at New Orleans Arena.

First, the team with the best bench production has won each game. In Game 1, which the Hornets won, their reserves poured in 39 of their 109 points. But New Orleans' bench has slipped badly since then, scoring 13 and nine points in Games 2 and 3, respectively, both Lakers victories.

Meanwhile, the Lakers have been rock steady, with their reserves accounting for 21, 21 and 20 points in the three games played.

The other constant? The Lakers' bigger front line has dominated the boards in each game and the Lakers have a 128 to 107 rebounding edge so far in the series.

Game 4 is obviously a must-win for the Hornets, but gambling site Beted.com favors the Lakers by six points.

--Barry Stavro

Photo: Lakers forward Ron Artest is fouled by Hornets guard Marco Belinelli during a shot in the first half Sunday evening at New Orleans Arena. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (32)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Trade Bynum right now...today...while his knee is still intact....trade Kobe too...

Yes...I said it.....Bynum and Kobe for.....The Lakers have not improved much from last year, while the rest of the league has caught up or gotten better...

In fact trade Fisher, Bynum, and Kobe in a mega deal for some real value...Come on Mitch ...man up....

Posted by: budda12ax7 | April 24, 2011 at 05:01 PM
=====

No wonder LakerTom has finally had it.

Yeah, trade Kobe. I'm glad you're not the GM.

Nah, I'm bored. .
My boston has managed to sweep NYK.
How come a back2back champs couldn't shut that weak Hornets?
Nah..*yawn*
Go Thunder!
Durant MVP!

Got beaten by a weak team? Hornets doesn't even deserve that playoff spot.

The Lakers are a bore to watch.
Theyre lucky to score 90 points a game.
Phil Jackson is the luckiest man that ever lived.
Life is all about being at the right place at the right time.

There isnt any actual coaching going on, its all figure it out as your playing.
There isnt any game plan at all, never was, never will be.

Its good players that made Phil Jackson the "HOF" coach.
Dumb fans bought into all the genius zen nonsense.
People are so dumb.
Its the same people who didnt think steroids arent in baseball and McCourt was a good owner.

Someone want to tell LA that they don;t need to shoot 18 threes? How about reminding those professional idiots that they have 3 seven footers and should not be losing the rebounding battle to a team who's big guys are perpetually in foul trouble? And Gasol and LO need to WAKE UP!

Hornets got 20 second chance points! Great job Lakers

the lakers dont come prepaired to play every night,i dont
know if it coaching or what.pau still plays like a big sissy
and lamar play sometimes and seem to not be interested other times.hopefully the lakers can get a better point guard next year to replaced blake and fisher,lakers should consider trading drew or pau for a point guard.cp will be available next year.if the lakers are having this problem with the hornets they are not going to win against better teams in this play off.

@ Jack -

PJ is an awesome coach. He has to wrangle the egos of all those great players who want to do things their way. Imagine how easy Phil's job would be if Kobe cut his shot total in half and concentrated on passing and defense? Kobe shot below 30% tonight and took nearly 20 shots. Wonder why Gasol gets out of it and mishandles passes like the one he booted tonight? Because he KNOWS that Kobe is going to force it up.

Game 4 vs Hornets----Lakers Loose---Kobe looks old. For the first time, its really noticable to me. I only hope its noticable to Kobe and Lakers Coaches. Its time for Kobe to be just another player and play his two position well, as well as he can anyway. Kobe is a sinking ship now and if he isnt careful he will take the rest of the Lakers down with him.
I am a Life Long Lakers fan but lets face it, 15 years in the league and Kobe just doesnt have the Cojones he used to, well he still thinks he does, but you can see the edge has finally fallen off. I bet thats why he wears his haircut like that too.. otherwise all the grey in his sideburns would show up. The guy is a top 5 hall of famer, but hey, he had better adjust his game to let more of the lakers in to take up the Slack now.

Stick a fork in this Lakers team, they're done. The weak lay-up attempts by Bynum and Gasol in the 3rd and end of 2nd period show they've got nothing left. Trade Gasol for Howard, who's going to want out of Magic before they become a lottery team, and trade Bynum for Paul, since everyone will abandon the Hornets ship after this year.

These Lakers are frusterating to watch, they come off two wins and they look unfocused and lacking energy. The reason why the Hornets won because they're out hustling the Lakers and showing passion. I don't know why this team just goes through the motions at times, they let this team extend the series and now it's going to be 6 or 7 games. I don't know how they're gonna get by the tougher teams down the stretch. Winning this series in 5 games would've helped the Lakers, but as usual they play down to the competion and don't give it their all. It's looking like this isn't their year and right now OKC Thunder is playing the best in the west. I guess we'll see what Lakers team shows up Tuesday night, at least now the Lakers have their backs against the wall and maybe they'll show more passion.

Be real interesting to find out what time all the LaCkers got into their rooms last night. There incredibly bad Sunday performances can't be coincidence. Oh well drugs, alchohol and women are more fun than rings.

Aaarrggh! Lakers NOT taking care of business, doing it the hard way...not a surprise....remember all that talk about the 'killer instinct' over the past few years? Still don't see it in this team, but then again those other two got rings.

Not the time to throw in the towel or your hands up in the air.

They held on at the end of the season and have HCA....we'll see if they remember this in Game 5.

Time to get it done on Tuesday, guys!

I don’t understand why Phil didn’t play Artest sooner in the 4th quarter. He was terrific in the first half, and I think him not playing pulled the plug in his rhythm. Basketball is a rhythm game.

And Kobe was barely in rhythm the whole game. I thought Kobe was too unselfish in the first half, choosing to play facilitator. He made it up in the 3rd quarter with 14 points but I don’t care what others say, Kobe needs to shoot and he needs to score! As he said in Game 3, he is a scorer first. And that injury —– dang. It was like Bynum all over again – a collective holding of breath in the entire LakerNation.

Lakers should go back to their Game 3 winning formula – Go Inside! Bynum, Odom and Gasol killed them in the inside, and in this game, Lakers didn’t capitalize on this HUGE advantage, especially when the Hornets bigs were in foul trouble, with Emeka eventually fouling out.

When the Bulls were 3-peating, no way they lost any games in the 1st round.

No worries faithful Lakers' fan base. Sweeping a series doesn't necessarily mean you are a better team than one going 6 or 7 games. This game of basketball is a funny one with lots of unusual bounces that may or may not go your way everyday!

Lakers' fan base with true loyalty will hang with team through thick and thin. It's not easy making it to the finals 4 years in row with Olympics one summer and World Championships the following year. Everyone seems to forget the amount of basketball the Lakers have actually played over the past 3 seasons... so many games played beyond belief when you consider the practices / film sessions. So for those who are about to jump ship... bon voyage! And, for those who stand pat and not give up the ship, more power to you and may our positive energy help carry the Lakers onto the second round.

Go Lakers

I'll admit it: I'm disappointed.

As for all the troll wannabe-sports journalists here this evening: before you diss, get a grip on your grammar! Lakers 'loose' 'they're' game tonight?! Oh, brother!

Here we are, just like last year: Round One against the Thunder, fourth game and it's tied 2-2. I imagine said trolls were ready to trade the team away last year, too? Weaklings. And then the Lakers came back home and...pushed it 3-2. And that was with the foul-happy Benga, freezing-cold Morrison and ambulance-blocking Josh Powell weighing down the bench!

I'd rather have a Win, but I'll settle for another chance at Home. Pull it together, Lakers!

the celtics are older than lakers w/ exception of rondo so age should not be a excuse...i think everyone is shocked series is tied

Where is all the size and length advantage we all hear so much about?? The Lakers got owned by a smaller team tonight, out-hustled, and out-worked.

NO closed out every qtr tonight better than the Lakers did (normally a Laker trend).

Dribble penetration and not being able to secure the defensive boards killed them tonight. Not sure why the lesson was not learned after game 1 with CP3? They cannot switch pick-n-roll and have Gasol (game 1) or Bynum (tonight) try and guard him out on the perimeter.

Gasol and Bynum both had several balls under the basket yet failed to go up strong and dunk the ball.....instead they tried layups or short bank shots which were missed or blocked. Embarrassing to have the same things happen every year. Dunk the damn ball and take the smaller defender thru the basket with the ball!!

How many times are they gonna go thru the motions? Sooner or later it is gonna cost em big, I just hope it's not this series or year yet.....

kobe isnt even a top 5 laker, wilt, majic, jabbar, baylor,shaq and west were more dominant in their prime...this was a big loss for fakers, now they have to go back to NO for gm 6 which should be fun

NBA is the only sport where the rules change as the game goes along.
I dont know whats a foul or playing defense is.

Its so manipulated, its unwatchable!
The sport makes no sense whatsoever.

not sure if my comments posted
diesel,
phil might be the smartest and luckiest coach. theres no such thing as greatest because its a players league.
the coach is just there for the ride
you can tell by watching.
its just half court, no plan at all.

lakers take the most difficult shot of all the great laker teams ive seen.
its hope the shot goes in or get fouled
thats only way the lakers can win.
usually the refs helps them out

I hope comparisons between Kobe and Jordan will stop now. The way Kobe is choking in this series there really is no question any longer. Would you ever see Jordan scoring zero points in a half and pretty much being a non-factor?

People comparing Kobe to Jordan need to stop now. Kobe is not even the best player in this match up with New Orleans. CP3 get his teammates involved by getting double figure assists, double figures in rebounds and still score twenty five points per game while taking a minimum of shots. Meanwhile, Kobe fires up twenty seven shots to get twenty eight points, hand out four assist and get five rebounds. Barkley was absolutely correct when earlier in the season, he said that Kobe had to volume shoot in order to score like he used to. 30 shots to score 30 points is terrible.

I am a 30 year Celtics fan, and I find the current crop of Lakers fans to be kind of strange. Back in the Magic and Bird era both Lakers and Celtics fans understood that basketball is a team sport. We all appreciated the greatness of Magic and Bird, but we understood that without Kareem, Worthy, McHale, Parish, and more, neither team would win championships.

Current Lakers fans seem to think about only one thing: Kobe, Kobe, Kobe. It is really kind of sad. Kobe chased away Shaq and has always been a somewhat divisive "team" member. Now, whenever the Lakers win, it is due to Kobe, and when they lose Laker fans blame anyone but Kobe, especially Gasol and Jackson. Sad to see such a great franchise so degraded in its treatment of team and coach.

What's this? Wait a minute! The Priest went the entire night without criticising Kobe. I think Kobe has a bi-polar disorder. That fumble by Gasol was not his fault but Kobe's. In situations like that kobe takes the shot. But now he makes the pass. Pau was confused for a split second and he fumbled the ball. The entire team is confused with Kobe. All season he has been the ball hog now he is all of a sudden magic in the playoffs....Bob very well said.

it's sad to see but also natural after repeat championships- this team does not have the hunger anymore...they are not playing as a team and do not trust each other or their coach...they have flashes of former brilliance but can't sustain it...they've all lost the motivation to not only win but play to the best of their abilities- for the fans, themselves and the love of the game...they're all resting on past laurels including phil jackson...and they look old, especially kobe and fisher...like chicago after jordan and before rose, it's gonna be a long time coming to hang another laker banner....

NBA is the only sport where the rules change as the game goes along.
I dont know whats a foul or playing defense is.

Its so manipulated, its unwatchable!
The sport makes no sense whatsoever.

Posted by: Ben | April 24, 2011 at 11:11 PM
------------------------------------------------------

Now you know how the rest of the league feels, considering all the changes are usually done to benefit YOUR Lakers. I'm not a Lakers fan but I'll say this: Kobe tweaking his ankle may be the best thing that happened to the Lakers. If he's not able to take over the game and is forced to facilitate instead, the Lakers are a better team. If he tries to do it himself, especially hurt, Lakers will lose this series.

I don't like the way No-Pauer Gasoft has been playing through this regular season and playoff. He has shown that he is easily bullied on the court, even by smaller apponents. When he gets the ball, he holds on to it too long, out of undecisiveness, and allow the opponents to set their defense. Please trade No-Pauer Gasoft for Dwight Howard!!!!!!!!!

What is wrong with the Lakers? Obivously the Hornets strategy is to try to take Kobe and Bynum out of the game as far as scoring (and Bynum rebounding), so Gasol, Artest gotta step it up. Artest has been doing his part and stepping up on offense, and knocking down open shots. Kobe and Bynum are being doubled almost every tiem they make a move. When Kobe tries to go to the basket there is a second defender rite there. And when Bynum is in the paint a guard or another big comes to double. It seems that the Hornets are fine with playing Gasol one on one becuz he is not making himself a threat. IF U HAVE A 6'7 UNDERSIZED POWER FORWARD GUARDING YOU AND GASOL IS 7'1 GASOL SHOULD BE HAVING 20-30 POINTS AND 10-12 REBOUNDS A GAME AGAINST NOLA!
Lakers have been in this position before like last year against OKC where it went 6 games which I want and expect this series to go with Lakers winning a very close game six in New Orleans. The only offensive threat is CP3 and it seems like the Lakers aren't stopping the only threat the Hornets have! He controls the game. I understand that CP3 is a great point guard; but he is still a point guard and he should NOT be getting 13 rebounds when he is the smallest person on the court. If the Lakers hustle as much as the Hornets do the could've swept them becuz L.A is obviously the more talented team. Lakers need to double Paul off of nearly every pick n roll and when Paul is in isolation situations with Fisher because he almost always scores. If the Lakers get beat in teh first ound by one man that will really hurt Phil Jackaon'a image and Kobe's image. I can understand that L.A might be tired from going to the finals for 3 straight years but please don't go down in teh first round to an undersized and undermaned New Orleans Hornets team. I want ans believe the Lakers can win it all. But if L.A doesn't at least get to the WCF or Finals and lose to a quality opponent like OKC, MIA, CHI, BOSTON, or Spurs; not to Hornets. The Hornets was the team every elite team wanted in teh first round and L.A got them and is struggling. Kobe messed up in the first quarter! He allowed Ariza to make shots and drive to the rim and get confidence WAYYY to early in the game. When role playes get confidence they can play like superstars! Look at what happened to the Heat yesterday where Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams who are 2 very young but only role players won the game for 76ers and Jrue and Lou it two shots in Wade's face. The first shot that Holiday made was not good defense by Wade; but the one that Lou Williams was great defense; Miami just aloud the role players to get too much confidence! And that is wat happened to Lakers yesterday. WHY IS LAL STRUGGLING AGAIN TO GET 100+ points when they have all of those offensive weapons like: Obviously Kobe who will get 25-30 points a game normally (and Kobe can go off for 40-45 points also), Gasol who in this series should be averaging at least 20ppg, Odom who should be having his way with NOLA especially when Aaron Gray is in the game because Gray is, slow and out of shape and Odom is the completete opposite, Blake who is a good 3 point shooter, Bynum who has had his way for most of the series except for yesterday's game, and Brown who is super athletic and should be going to the rim and drawing fouls. All that talent on LAL and they keep losing to the Hornets??!!!

L.A COME ON I WANT YALL TO FACE MIAMI IN THE FINALS AND BEAT THEM BUT I WAS EXPECTING YA'LL TO BE IN THE FINALS BUT THE WAY LAKERS ARE PLAYING NOW, I DON'T KNOW! THIS IS A VERY WEIRD LAKER TEAM.

Look part of the problem is LA is always relaxing half way through a series, They are back to back champs, They need to focus more but do we want that?
Do we not remember 3 years ago boston v LA when the lakers swept the first 3 rounds. That year Boston played 3 competetive rounds, Boston was the better team and completely out played the Lakers.... Its all good kobes doin his thing chill out people. No worries 3 peat


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