Lakers Vs. Hornets Score: Kobe Bryant Pushes L.A., But Chris Paul Helps New Orleans Maintain Lead After Three

Kobe Bryant leads all scorers with 27 points as a big third quarter helped pull the Los Angeles Lakers to within 73-72 at the end of the third quarter in Game 1 against the New Orleans Hornets. Chris Paul has 16 points, 13 assists and four steals for New Orleans. But Paul missed two free throws at the end of the quarter; the Hornets have shot just 5-13 from the line.

New Orleans opened the third struggling to get anything on the board as the Lakers paid extra attention to Paul, forcing a couple of turnovers and bad shots by Trevor Ariza. Aaron Gray and Carl Landry continued to perform pretty well, though, keeping the Hornets' frontcourt from being pounded by the superior and deeper L.A. unit.

Pau Gasol has shot just 1-7 for the Lakers. He suffered a small facial cut in the first half, but Landry and Emeka Okafor have completely shut him down.

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