Royal Freshness: Lakers Tell Hornets "no" in the NO
The Los Angeles Lakers haven't been satisfied with their play recently, even going as far as to having a reportedly heated meeting between players and coaches before their 105-96 victory in Memphis on Monday night. But after a 100-87 win against Chris Paul and the Hornets, the Lakers will head back home to face the team who beat them in the Finals last season with a lot more confidence.
The Lakers (23-5), who were completing a 4 game road trip, were led by Kobe Bryant's 26 points on 7-18 shooting from the field. He also recorded 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
His assist to Pau Gasol near the end of the half to beat the shot clock gave the Lakers their biggest lead of the half at 19, and summarized a dreadful defensive night for New Orleans.
The Hornets (16-8) were without reserves Antonio Daniels and Peja Stojakovic. That left a lot of work to be done by Paul, who played 46 minutes and finished with 17 points and 10 assists.
It was the 108th consecutive game Paul had recorded at least 1 steal in a game, an NBA record. But it wasn't enough as the Hornets shot just 41 percent from the field and gave up 100 points for the first time in five games.
The frustration for the Hornets was clear as 3 different players received technical fouls.
Meanwhile, four out of the five Laker starters scored in double figures, the only player to not do so being Luke Walton.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson earned his 999th victory in his career as a head coach. Should he reach 1,000 in his next 11 games he'll surpass Pat Riley as the fastest coach to do so, who did it in 1,434 games.....The Lakers held an opponent under 90 points for the second time in 4 games.....The 8 game win streak at home by New Orleans was snapped.....This concluded the final game of a 4 game road trip for the Lakers as they return to Staples Center for a Christmas Day Showdown with the Boston Celtics.