Kobe Bryant scored 30 points on 11-25 shooting as the Los Angeles Lakers handled the New Orleans Hornets comfortably with a 102-84 victory. The Lakers never trailed after the first few minutes of the game, and were never in danger from halftime on. Kobe and Pau Gasol combined to score 20 in the first quarter and 14 in the second; the Lakers, at least on this occasion, showed little fear about a potential first-round matchup with the Hornets.
Carl Landry, in his second game as a starter due to David West's season-ending knee injury, put up 24 points on Gasol. Landry hit 8-16 shots and got to the line for 10 free throws, and continued to dismiss concerns about his fitness to help New Orleans. The problem was with the rest of the team. Chris Paul was limited to 10 points; Marco Belinelli shot 4-16.
If the Hornets have a prayer in a potential NBA playoffs series against the Lakers, CP3 will need to be more of a force on offense, Emeka Okafor must continue to crash the offensive glass (he had eight offensive rebounds in 30 minutes) and someone beyond Paul and Landry has to score timely baskets. Belinelli, Willie Green, Jarrett Jack, Trevor Ariza and Okafor are all unreliable on offense. And offense is the challenge for these Hornets, because so many of Monty Williams' rotational decisions are made based on defense.