When the New Orleans Hornets came back down to Earth with a thud after a white-hot first quarter, the Los Angeles Lakers took advantage, dominating the final 36 minutes on their way to a 106-90 win. The Hornets shot just over 81 percent from the field to open the game, but were unable to sustain the torrid pace and finished shooting just percent. After the Lakers were outscored 32-23 in the first, but bounced back to outscore the Hornets in each individual quarter down the stretch to take a 3-2 series lead.
All five Los Angeles starters were in double-figures, led by Kobe Bryant's 19 points. Bryant did not attempt a shot from the field in the first quarter and generally looked hobbled by his injured ankle before taking over and showing no ill-effects. Andrew Bynum added 18 points, Pau Gasol had 16, Derek Fisher had 13 and Ron Artest had 10 points. Lamar Odom provided a spark off the bench, as usual, with 13 points.
Chris Paul finished with a double-double, scoring 20 points and dishing-out 13 assists. Trevor Ariza scored a game-high 22 points, with Marco Belinelli joining the two in double-figures with 21 points. But outside of the three, New Orleans struggled to find consistent scorers as the rest of the team combined for just 27 points.
The Lakers hold the 3-2 series lead heading into Game 6 in New Orleans on Thursday.