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Lakers vs. Hornets, Game 5 updates: Lakers defeat Hornets, 106-90

Kobe6

Final score: Lakers 106, Hornets 90

Now this was the Lakers team everyone was expecting. They put an exclamation point on Game 5 of their best-of-seven series with the New Orleans Hornets. The  Lakers lead 3-2 as they head back to New Orleans for Game 6 on Thursday.

Kobe Bryant, the subject of great angst because of an injured ankle, showed he can play through pain. Lots of it. After a tentative first quarter, he showed everyone he’s still Kobe in the second quarter including a signature dunk over Emeka Okafor.

He finished with 19 points on 8 of 13 shooting. And he did that in only 28 minutes. Bryant also had four assists.

There was also a dominating performance by Andrew Bynum,  who finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. What about the much maligned Pau Gasol? He did quite well with 16 points  and eight  rebounds.

Ex-Laker Trevor Ariza had 22 points and Chris Paul had 20.  Marco Belinelli, playing his best game scored 21.

We'll have more on the game soon at latimes.com/sports

---

Fourth quarter, 3:28 remaining: Lakers 99, Hornets 83

The Lakers came out of the timeout with Andrew Bynum at the line and he converted both. A 15-point lead with about nine minutes to play and it seemed the Lakers had this game in their pocket.

It  seemed as if the Lakers were in control so that Kobe Bryant could rest his ankle the rest of the game. But he would have none of it going back in with 5:57 to play. During the timeout Bryant and jumping up and down and running in place.

In fact, Phil Jackson had all his starters but Bynum on the floor with 5:30 to play. He was leaving nothing to chance.

With just under five minutes to play, Ron Artest made two free throws and the Lakers lead was 16. 

----

Fourth quarter, 8:56 remaining: Lakers 87, Hornets 74

It doesn’t take long for a seven-point lead to evaporate, but at least the Lakers were ahead at this point, something they haven’t done too well of late.

Andrew Bynum was fouled 10 seconds into the quarter and made one of two free throws. After a Hornet miss Matt Barnes was fouled going to the basket and made both shots and the Lakers lead was  10 again.

Chris Paul converted on a jumper to cut it to eight but Bynum’s basket and free throw stretched things back to 11. What was impressing the crowd at this point was the aggressive style and hustle of the Lakers.

The Hornets then turned the ball over on a three-second violation and a Lamar Odom jumper put the Lakers up by 13.

---

End of third quarter: Lakers 79, Hornets 72

Kobe Bryant, having scored 17 points went back to the bench with about three minutes to play in the quarter. But this Laker team was playing with energy, even jumping for rebounds.

Pau Gasol gave them an 11-point lead with 2:44 to play when he converted the free throw for a three-point play. It was Gasol’s 14th point. But Trevor Ariza closed it to eight with a three pointer.

After a couple Laker misses, Ariza hit another three pointer and the lead was down to five. Lamar Odom hit two free throws with 1:07 to play and the lead was back to seven.

With just under a minute to go Shannon Brown exchanged words with Willie Green and was given a technical. The Hornets closed it to six but Derek Fisher converted one of two free throws. On the miss, the Lakers got the rebound but lost the ball with a second to play and they took a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter.

Bryant was the Lakers leading scorer with 17. Ariza had 22 for the Hornets.

---

Third quarter, 4:45 remaining: Lakers 71, Hornets 64

The tale of the first half was pretty clear and if the Hornets weren’t shooting so well the game might  have already been decided. The Lakers were 14-0 in second-chance points and led in points in the paint by 28-16. They also outrebounded the Hornets, 20-12.

But, anyone who follows the Lakers knows nothing is certain and there would likely be some bumps left in the game.

The second half started with the Lakers extending their lead to eight off a three-pointer by Derek Fisher and a basket by Andrew Bynum.

Kobe Bryant had another signature slam with 8:22 left to play to extend the Laker lead to 65-55. The Lakers were playing with spirit and the Staples Center crowd was very much into the game. But would it last or would malaise set in?

But, of course, the Hornets weren’t done and a couple of threes by Marco Belinelli closed the margin to five. Who kept the Lakers in it during that brief stretch? Ron Artest, as he was four of six from the field so far in the game.

A Bryant basket with 4:45 to play took the lead to seven heading into a time out.

---

Halftime: Lakers 54, Hornets 51

The Hornets came out of the timeout with Trevor Ariza hitting a three pointer. It was his third in four attempts for his 13th point. He followed that up with a questionable continuation basket and the subsequent foul shot.

But then came the moment that everyone was waiting for, an aggressive slam by Kobe Bryant over Emeka Okafor with 3:31 to play signaling to the crowd that he was back. It was followed by chants of “MVP.” Bryant followed that up with a twisting basket underneath. At that point, Bryant was four for seven, better than he has shot in a few games.

But he wasn’t done, scoring again with about 1:40 to play. Suddenly he was the Lakers leading scorer with 11 points. Then with eight seconds  left he drove the basket to put the Lakers up by three.

If Chris Paul hadn’t hit two baskets with less than two minutes to play, the Hornets would have been in some trouble.

At halftime, the Lakers were pretty balanced in scoring with Bryant having 13 followed by Andrew Bynum (10), Pau Gasol (9) and Derek Fisher (9).

 Ariza led the Hornets with 16. Paul had 11.

---

Second quarter, 5:14 remaining, Lakers 38, Hornets 38

The second quarter started with Kobe Bryant on the bench, which is the normal rotation for Coach Phil Jackson.

The Lakers went on a run to start the quarter with an 8-0 run on a basket by Lamar Odom and two three-pointers by Shannon Brown. The Hornets called a time out with 9:24 to play, having seen their nine-point lead cut to one, 32-31.

The Hornets came out of the timeout with an errant pass that resulted in a jump ball, which the Hornets won and then followed with another bad pass.  Each team missed a basket but the Lakers took their first lead in a while when Matt Barnes hit on a follow of his missed shot.

Bryant re-entered the game with 8:23 to play and made his first jumper — with good elevation — with 7:51 to play in the quarter. It gave the Lakers a 35-34 lead. Bryant then missed badly on a fade-away jumper.

Bryant scored again on a jumper with 5:45 to play and Lakerdom was starting to feel better about things.

---

End of First quarter, Hornets 32, Lakers 23

Kobe Bryant was on the bench as the Lakers came out of the timeout, as was Pau Gasol.

Chis Paul, who was tough on the Lakers so far this series, scored his first basket with less than three minutes to play. It was part of a 7-0 run by the Hornets that was stopped when Andrew Bynum made two free throws to close the score to 27-21. It was his eighth point to go with five rebounds.

With 1:16 left to play in the quarter, Gasol came back in the game but Bryant remained on the bench. As the quarter ended the Lakers were lucky to be only down by nine points as the Hornets shot 81% from the field, making 13 of 16 shots. The Lakers were nine of 21 for 43%. But, they had only one field goal in the last four minutes of the quarter.

Paul finished the quarter with four points and eight assists.

If the Hornets cool off can the Lakers rebound with a clearly struggling Bryant? Time will tell.

---

First quarter, 3:39 remaining: Hornets 20, Lakers 19

The Lakers won the tip and Andrew Bynum scored the first basket off a rebound of his layoff. That was the good news. But then Trevor Ariza drove the basket  over Kobe Bryant and it was clear the Hornets weren’t afraid to exploit Bryant’s injured ankle.

Bryant didn’t take his first shot until midway through the quarter and that missed. However, he was fouled and made one of two free throws. Still, it was clear the Lakers were going to try and drive the ball inside to Pau Gasol and Bynum. Gasol looked more effective then past games and Bynum looked strong  underneath.

Ariza had 10 points before he went to the bench with six minutes left in the quarter. At this break Bynum has six points and Fisher had five. Gasol had four.

---

As Game 5 between the Lakers and New Orleans Hornets approached there was only one question everybody wanted answered: How is Kobe Bryant?

The Laker star had injured his ankle late in Game 4 and didn’t do any action drills in practice. So all eyes were on him as he went through warm-ups before the game. He clearly was not in top shape. He didn’t really participate in layup drills and exerted minimal effort as the team practiced.

Still, Laker coach Phil Jackson was hopeful he would be able to contribute.

“I’m going to anticipate  he’ll rise to the occasion,” Jackson said before the game.  Jackson conceded he may have it tough if Bryant is ineffective. “I imagine I might have to make some decisions,” Jackson said.

“But, he’ll [Bryant] have an idea [what he can do]. He’ll know his spots on the floor.”

Check back for updates throughout the game.

-- John Cherwa

Photo: Kobe Bryant dunks during the first half of Game 5 against the New Orleans Hornets on Tuesday. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (29)

The comments to this entry are closed.

If this moron PJ had only started Kobe in the 4th qtr, these troubles would have been averted!!

No questions asked. It's on moderation until further notice.

Posted by: Mark Medina | April 26, 2011 at 06:45 PM

THis Stinks all the way to New Orleans!!!!!!!

Phil Jackson has coached more titles than any professional coach in NBA history, he might know a little bit more about his rotation than you do.

Brown sucks
Thats it

pj can make mistakes, and it did look curious that he kept him out of THAT game for those minutes, regardless of he fact that that his normal rotation

Lakers ain't gonna threepeat.. NOH is dominating the series. Bye lakers.

Please, Phil, tie Shannon to the bench. Absolutely no sense in either offense or defense today!

Where's the D, Bigs?!

That dunk by Kobe off the sweet feed from Pau at the 3:30 mark of the 2nd period was RIDONKLULOUS! The Black Mamba turning back the clock on that one! Who knew he had a bad foot???

That dunk was just simple. Nothing special about it.

They just showed a stat stating that when Kobe was on the floor today, even pts between both team. When on the bench, Lakers +15.

I'm just saying.

Lakers in 5, called it.

I have to laugh at all the people questioning Phil Jackson's decisions. He's got ELEVEN championship rings as a coach. For those who suck at math, that's enough for one on each finger and one for the display case. If any of these haters actually had the balls to make their remarks to Phil Jackson's face, he would just laugh and make them kneel and kiss his rings, all eleven of them.

Are you in? Because WE’RE IN! This playoff season, support your city – join the campaign to keep the Hornets in the Hive! Never underestimate the power of a small group of motivated individuals. Learn about our cause at www.buydemhornets.com & www.facebook.com/buydemhornets

That dunk was more than 2 points. It woke the team and their fans up. It reminded everyone who this team is. Lakers in 6. 3 down, 13 to go for #17. Go Lakers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

key to gsme 5 victory?? lakers FINALLY shut down that thorn in their side, carl landry!

That dunk was just simple. Nothing special about it.

Posted by: Honda_Keisuke | April 26, 2011 at 09:18 PM

you can't even make a lefty layup, the kobe hating is just ignorant

ERR...THAT DUNK WAS SICK. COME ON! KOBE IS G.O.A.T.! (UPS, YOU SUCK!)

how demoralizing it for the hornets to shoot 80 % FG in the first quarter, and STILL lose the game by 16? but please lakers, i don't think you can survive game 6 if you allow a first quarter like that again.

Can there be positive comments on this thread, or just complainers who think Phil Jackson doesn't know what he is doing? I guess 11 rings are just not good enough to get anyone's respect. You gotta have faith in this team.

Ummmm...all that stuff I said about Ariza, I take back!

I still feel sorry for him, though. Because the Lakers will still win in six.

--Fearless

Sweet win..everyone got involved and HUSTLED...three down, one to go....hoping they get that one in NO on Thursday.

LAKESHOW!!!

ok this is awesome.. no.. LAKERS are awesome(:!! i remember last year when me, my dad, brother, and sister were in the living room watching the lakers BEAT the celtics!! hahahaha!!! GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!(:(:(:

and kobe does not sucK! (ever heard of the song "kobe bryant" by lil wayne???) ok then, he dont suck!! ........he's the best player in the game, its just that simple. there is nothing kobe bryant CANT do!! so SUCK that scankbag!!

I LOVE BASKETBALL MAINE GOOCHY :)

Phil Jackson is a lucky man, I love the LAKERS! Phil gets to much credit for to many things that Phil has little to do with. Every team Phil has coached has always always had super stars. Those teams could coach themselves, Phil is laxed and due to his fame He is quite arrogant. The laker TEAM wins Championships not Phil Jackson. He can be called a motivator, But players win games. GO LAKERS!

"Phil Jackson is a lucky man, I love the LAKERS! Phil gets to much credit for to many things that Phil has little to do with. Every team Phil has coached has always always had super stars. Those teams could coach themselves, Phil is laxed and due to his fame He is quite arrogant. The laker TEAM wins Championships not Phil Jackson. He can be called a motivator, But players win games. GO LAKERS!"

Really? 11 championships, and he's lucky?

it's better to keep quiet and be thought a fool, than to shoot off your mouth and remove all doubt.

HORNETS ROCK!!! NEW ORLEANS ALL THE WAY BABY!!!!! KOBE'S A SORE LOSER ANYWAY. A BALL HOG TOO, MIGHT I ADD. GOOOOOO
HORNETS!!!!

kobe bryant is not a ball hog! and the hornets suck monkey balls!! Who won the championship last year?? NOT THE HORNETS!! The LAKERS did!! AND they have 6 rings!! OH YEAH!! IN YO FACE!! And even if kobe WAS a ball hog, its cuz EVERYONE passes the ball to him because HE IS THE BEST PLAYER IN THE GAME,ITS JUST THAT SIMPLE!! SO BOO THAT FREAK!!


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