Hornets Vs. Lakers: Kobe Scores 30, Los Angeles Dominates New Orleans 102-84

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Hornets Vs. Lakers Final Score: Kobe's 30 Pace Lakers In 102-84 Romp

Kobe Bryant finished with a game-high 30 points as the Lakers topped the Hornets, 102-84.

Pau Gasol posted 23 points and 16 rebounds, while Andrew Bynum scored 13 for Los Angeles, which has won seven straight and 15-of-16. Ron Artest added 11 points and Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown both contributed eight points off the bench.

Carl Landry paced the Hornets with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Emeka Okafor added 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Chris Paul posted 10 points and nine assists in the loss.

With their impressive five-week run since the All-Star game, the Lakers (53-20) have gotten within a half-game of Chicago (53-19) for the NBA’s second-best record. That’s something that could come in handy if the Lakers reach their fourth straight NBA finals and need some home-court advantage.

For more Hornets analysis, visit At The Hive. For more on the Lakers, check out Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation L.A.

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Hornets Vs. Lakers Score: Los Angeles Cruises To 57-41 Halftime Lead

Sunday’s game between the Lakers and Hornets is supposed to be a playoff preview. If the first half is any indication, that playoff series would be a short one. The Lakers went into the locker room at halftime with a 57-41 lead.

Kobe Bryant went off for 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Pau Gasol also added 15 points as well as 9 rebounds. The only downside for Los Angeles is Andrew Bynum’s four fouls.

Carl Landry leads the way so far for the Hornets, scoring 15 points to go with his 7 rebounds. Chris Paul has eight points and seven assists.

The Lakers are shooting 46% compared to the Hornets 42% and lead the rebounding battle 28-26. The Hornets will have to figure out how to shut down Kobe if they want any chance of making this one a game. Good luck with that.

For more Hornets analysis, visit At The Hive. For more on the Lakers, check out Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation L.A.

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Hornets Vs. Lakers: Does New Orleans Stand A Chance Against Champs?

The New Orleans Hornets and Los Angeles Lakers meet up Sunday night (9:30 p.m. ET, local TV and League Pass) in what looks like a potential first-round preview. The Lakers would be heavily, heavily favored in any playoff series against the Hornets; heck, they'd have been overwhelming favorites before the Hornets lost David West to a torn ACL. Sunday's showdown is only New Orleans' second post-West game; the Hornets beat the Suns on Friday, with Carl Landry starting in West's spot and excelling.

Landry has had success against the Lakers over the years, but the frontcourt matchup seems unfair, frankly. The Lakers, of course, have Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom, their big men capable of huge numbers any night, and likely to put up no worse than solid numbers every night. In Emeka Okafor, the Hornets have a solid if undersized (when compared to the Lakers) defender. Landry is a tough interior scorer who can step out. And ... there's Aaron Gray, Jason Smith and David Andersen, three inconsistent, unreliable performers.

The teams each have one incredible guard, Chris Paul for the Hornets and Kobe Bryant for the Lakers. CP3 suffered a concussion three weeks; since getting back on the floor, he's been more aggressive, averaging 21 points and 11 assists a game while shooting 50 percent. The Hornets will need even more with West gone; there simply isn't much offense other than that created by Paul. The Lakers have the opposite issue. When L.A. falls behind, Kobe tends to freak out and take shots away from his big men. (See: the Lakers' loss to Miami, the team's only defeat in its last 15 games.) Kobe has help -- tons of it -- and has to focus on running a deadly team attack. Paul pretty much needs to lead the symphony and play lead French horn at the same time.

For more Hornets analysis, visit At The Hive. For more on the Lakers, check out Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation L.A.

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