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Hornets Fall In L.A.

All in all, the Hornets played well on the West Coast Friday night. In the end, it wasn’t enough. The Lakers beat the Hornets 101-97. As usual, David West played well,  scoring 23 while pulling down 12 boards. He has been the one constant this season for an inconsistent Hornet team. Everyone for New Orleans played up to par Friday night. It wasn’t anything the Hornets did, or didn’t do. Simply put, it was a Laker team that had better talent and played up to it. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol played like two of the best players in the league.

Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 25 points and Pau Gasol contributed 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, as the Lakers dropped the Hornets, 101-97, at Staples Center.

Bryant, dealing with a well-documented knee injury, shot 10-of-19 from the field and passed Hall-of-Famer Oscar Robertson into sole possession of ninth place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

“It’s a huge honor to climb the ladder once again, especially to get past Oscar. He was a great player,” Bryant said.

Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom each chipped in 17 points, with the latter adding 13 rebounds in the win, Los Angeles’ third straight following a 2-4 stretch.

David West ended with 23 points and 12 rebounds to pace New Orleans, which was coming off a seven-point home loss to Golden State on Wednesday. Chris Paul logged 12 points and 10 assists in defeat.

Marco Belinelli netted 17 points, and his three-pointer cut the Hornets’ deficit to 95-92 with 1:41 left in regulation.

Bryant got a left-handed runner to fall the next time down, and West missed a short hook shot at the other end. Bryant then had his mid-range jumper blocked, but the loose ball caromed to Derek Fisher to extend the possession.

Gasol made two from the foul line with 33.9 seconds remaining for a 99-92 advantage, and the Lakers held on down the stretch.

After winning three straight, the Hornets will try to avoid losing three straight. A feisty Nugget team will await New Orleans in Denver on Sunday night. Tip-off is set for 8:00.

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