Fancap: Lakers Sting the Hornets

Things got interesting in the second half mainly due to New Orleans playing zone defense; it made the Lakers settle for outside shots.  Luckily, the inside game picked up and the excellent play of the bigs (Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and even Lamar Odom) continued.  Bynum missed a shot, but got his own board in traffic and finished with a 3 point play.  It was indicative of the new sustained effort the Lakers have been employing for the past week.  As I mentioned before, Ron was playing within the offense for once and was rewarded with an open lane layup courtesy of Derek Fisher’s 6th assist.  Hitting a 3 moments later due to an extra pass continued Artest’s smart play.

With one minute left in the third quarter, Mr. Kobe Bryant hit a running midrange jumper and took his place as the 9th all time scoring leader.  The Staples Center crowd began showering their hero with immediate, and deafening, chants of M-V-P. To cap it off, Bryant hit a wicked shot after burning his former teammate Ariza and elevating to hit it off the glass. 

While the Lakers definitely need to improve on closing out games, they overcame a sloppy fourth quarter start and played excellent defense.  The Hornets erased a ten point deficit halfway through and kept it close enough to require a game of free throw tag at the end.  Pau took most of our charity stripe attempts and did a serviceable job.  Kobe made some gorgeously difficult baskets down the stretch, and L.A was able to muster up key stops as well.

Next: Finishing Their Business

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