The Lakers won on the road tonight, beating the New Orleans Hornets 93-91 inside The Hive. The Hornets entered tonight's contest possessing the worst record in the Western Conference but that hasn't prevented them from going the distance against the Lakers. In their two previous meetings the Lakers won in overtime and then in regulation by only three points. Tonight was yet another close contest that the Lakers managed to pull out in the final minute.
With 6:48 to play, Carl Landry converted a lay-up to put the Hornets up eight points and with the Lakers closer, Kobe Bryant, sidelined with injury it looked as if the Lakers would carry their losing streak into San Antonio. The Lakers, through a concerted team effort, tightened up the defense, executed on offense, and put together a 19-5 run to take control of the game down the stretch. Every Laker on the floor put points on the board during the closing run as well as contributing defensively.
The Lakers were led by Pau Gasol with 25 points and 9 rebounds. Andrew Bynum finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds despite struggling to finish inside, going 7 for 17 from the field. Ramon Sessions stepped up with 17 points including a big three point shot in the final 30 seconds to help seal the win. Matt Barnes continued his solid bench play finishing just one point and two rebounds shy of a double-double in his 24 minutes of action.
The Hornets put up another strong fight against the Lakers, led by Marco Belinelli's 20 points, including four for seven from distance. He and Greivis Vasquez (18 points and 11 assists) combined to make 9 of 13 three point attempts. Karl Landry had a double-double off the bench with 20 points and 11 rebounds as his quickness posed difficulties for Gasol at the power forward position.
In the end, the Lakers figured "it" out down the stretch and strung together the best run of the game to snatch a much needed victory. Up next is the league's hottest team, the San Antonio Spurs. The tight standings in the Western Conference make every game crucial. The Lakers did well to get a win tonight without their best player, even if was against one of the league's worst teams.