The Lakers smothered Chris Paul all night

Lakers 87, Hornets 78: Hornets come back down to Earth.

The Los Angeles Lakers beat the New Orleans Hornets tonight 87-78 to tie their first round series 1-1. Kobe Bryant had a quiet game (he reached double digits late in the 4th quarter) but Andrew Bynum led the Lakers in the first half and Lamar Odom closed out the game for the home team. Chris Paul had 20 points and 9 assists but was doubled teamed most of the night as the Lakers tried to prevent him from having another monster game.  Despite the score, this was a close game. The Hornets had their chances but failed to convert tonight (see below for more). We’re going to do a short recap here tonight so let’s just jump right into it…

The Hans Gruber Villain of the Game Award

Let’s hand the award out to Andrew Bynum. The Lakers went to their big men early to leverage the height advantage they have over the Hornets. It worked. Bynum had 17 points on 8 for 10 shooting and 11 rebounds. Finishing in second place for the award was the Hornets free throw shooting.

Notes and Observations:

-Free throw shooting: The Hornets shot 20 for 32 from the line. You can’t do that in the playoffs.

-Trevor Ariza looked slightly better on offense, but that’s not exactly saying a whole lot. His defense really disappointed me tonight. Multiple times I saw Kobe simply blow by him. That’s not what the Hornets want out of their top perimeter defender.

-I feel bad that this is Emeka Okafor’s first time in the playoffs and he’s stuck on the bench.

-My brother, the Lakers fan, text message of the game:

Gasol is still disappointing. Will he really play this way for the entire series? I doubt it.

I doubt Pau Gasol is going to be shooting 2 of 10 every game but Carl Landry, despite the height disadvantage, has played surprisingly good defense on him. He refuses to let Gasol back him down in the post and whenever Gasol takes a jump shot Landry always has a hand in his face.

-To Michael McNamara from That was my girlfriend in that picture 42 posted in the live chat. I’m a very lucky man.

-Game 3 is Friday night at the Hive. I’ll be there with my camera on hand. Rest you voices and lungs New Orleans.

-I’m going to leave you with this to pump you up for game 3…

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Tags: Carl Landry Chris Paul Emeka Okafor Kobe Bryant Lamar Odom Los Angeles Lakers New Orleans Hornets Pau Gasol Trevor Ariza

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