LOS ANGELES -- Somebody had to play defense in Tuesday night's Hornets-Lakers game.
The Hornets finally did in the fourth quarter, and it proved decisive.
David West scored 15 of his 40 points in the final period to outscore Los Angeles by himself, and New Orleans beat Los Angeles 116-105 to snap the Lakers' 15-game home winning streak.
The Lakers led 92-89 entering the fourth quarter before shooting just 5-of-21, including 3-of-11 from 3-point range while being outscored 27-13.
"We had to pick it up defensively," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "Kobe [Bryant] was hitting everything he was throwing up and they made a bunch of 3s. Defense was our focus. We tried to switch it up and we tried to play Kobe straight up most of the game, but he just got it going so toward the end and we figured that we had to get it out of his hands as much as possible."
Bryant led the Lakers with 39 points and seven assists, but scored only two in the fourth quarter, shooting 1-of-6 after going 13-of-16, including 6-of-6 from 3-point range in the first three quarters.
"After the third quarter, they pretty much weren't going to let me get a shot off," Bryant said. "Shots didn't go for us."
West shot 14-of-23 from the floor and 12-of-13 from the foul line in matching his career high. He also grabbed 11 rebounds as the Hornets (21-10) won for the 16th time in 21 games and avenged two losses to the Lakers in New Orleans earlier this season.
"We felt pretty confident that if we were somehow able to slow (Bryant) down, we would have a good chance to win," West said. "We needed this one tonight. The first two times we played these guys, they jumped on us."
The Lakers beat the Hornets twice earlier this season -- both times in New Orleans. The teams play for the fourth and final team this season Feb. 20 at Staples Center.
"Now we have a chance to split," West said.
West scored nine points during a 15-0 run that gave the Hornets a 109-99 lead with 5:24 remaining. Derek Fisher's 3-pointer with 4:37 left ended a Lakers scoring drought of nearly four minutes, but the Hornets increased their pressure on Bryant and weren't threatened after that.
"He was rolling," Hornets star Chris Paul said of West. "When he's going like that, we are going to feed him the rest of the game. He was hitting all types of shots -- floaters in the lane, step-backs, and that's why he's an All-Star."
So is Paul, and he showed why with 32 points, 15 assists, three steals and no turnovers in 44 minutes. Tyson Chandler added 12 points and eight rebounds, and Rasual Butler had 10 points and six rebounds for the Hornets, who shot only 5-of-14 from 3-point range to the Lakers' 16-of-34, but won anyway.
"I just didn't think we executed well enough," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "I thought we burned a lot of energy in the third, trying to catch up and stay ahead after getting behind early in the third quarter."
Fisher added 19 points and six assists for the Lakers, who had their six-game winning streak snapped. They're 18-2 at home this season and their 27-6 overall record is tied with Cleveland for the best in the NBA.
"We were out of flow pretty much all night defensively," Bryant said. "Offensively, I thought we did OK and got shots that we wanted, but defensively we weren't able to corral them like we normally have the last few times we've played them. Everybody wants to talk about offense; defense is where you win or lose games."
The 116 points were the most scored by New Orleans this season and the second-highest total given up by the Lakers.
Already without third guard Jordan Farmar (left knee) and starting forward Luke Walton (right foot), the Lakers lost sixth man Lamar Odom late in the second quarter with a hyperextended right knee. Odom, who had 12 points and three rebounds in 13 minutes, is scheduled to have an MRI on Wednesday, and he'll miss Wednesday night's game at Golden State.
West scored six points during a 10-4 run early in the third quarter that extended New Orleans' lead to 75-67. But Bryant made three 3-pointers in a span of 93 seconds and Fisher added another as the Lakers outscored the Hornets 25-10 for a 92-85 lead.
Bryant shot 8-of-9 including 4-of-4 from 3-point range for 20 points, and Pau Gasol made all three of his shots and all four of his free throws for 10 points in the third period. Those 10 points were all Gasol would score. He also had eight rebounds and five assists.
F Melvin Ely, hampered by sore right ankle, returned to action after missing four games and was the first player off the New Orleans bench. He went scoreless in six minutes. ... Vladimir Radmanovic, who started the first 20 games of the season, returned to the Lakers' lineup due to the absence of Walton, who missed his second game and is expected to be sidelined at least two weeks. Radmanovic had three points in 24 minutes. ... Chandler returned to action after serving a one-game suspension for an altercation with Portland's Joel Przybilla last Friday night. With Chandler out, the Hornets lost 105-100 at Denver on Saturday night to snap their four-game losing streak. ... The Lakers hadn't allowed an opposing player to score more than 23 points in their previous seven games. West and Paul surpassed that total with plenty to spare in this game.
- Joe Crawford
- Jim Clark
- Tommy Nunez Jr.