NBA

Fri, Feb 20, 2009 - 10:30 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Kobe, Lakers survive vs. Hornets in OT

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LOS ANGELES (AP)

The New Orleans Hornets were the only NBA team that hadn't played an overtime game this season, so they might have forgotten what was required to win in the extra period. They could've started with defending Kobe Bryant. Bryant scored 11 of his 39 points in OT and the Los Angeles Lakers beat New Orleans 115-111 on Friday night, snapping an NBA-record streak of overtime wins by the Hornets dating to December 2005. "There have been many times this season where the starting unit struggled and the bench came in and bailed us out. Tonight was the opposite," Bryant said. "Anytime you have a game like that where you kinda seesaw down the stretch like that and come out with a win, it's always good." Pau Gasol had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the defending Western Conference champions, who won for the 14th time in 16 games. Derek Fisher, whose 3-pointer with 14.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter forced overtime, made four free throws in the final 14.3 seconds of the extra period to ice it. "We had our chances and should have won the game, there's no doubt about it," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "We just gave it to them. The last thing I said in the huddle was, 'Don't give up open 3s.' But we gave a 3 to Fisher. We just have to put it in the past and forget about it." Lamar Odom grabbed 12 points and 17 rebounds, the fifth time in six games that he had 17 or more boards. The Lakers improved the NBA's best record to 45-10 and avenged a 116-105 loss to the Hornets on Jan. 6 that ended a 15-game home winning streak. Chris Paul and David West, who combined for 72 points in that one, had 21 and 16 respectively in the rematch while Rasual Butler led the team with 31. Paul also had 16 assists in 45 minutes before picking up his sixth foul with 1:32 left in OT - the first time he fouled out in a regular-season game in his four-year NBA career. West had a season-high 16 rebounds for New Orleans. Hornets center Tyson Chandler watched from the bench in street clothes with his current and "former" teammates. Chandler, who was traded by New Orleans to Oklahoma City on Tuesday and flunked his physical with the Thunder on Wednesday, rejoined the Hornets in Los Angeles for the start of a three-game road trip after the deal for Chris Wilcox, Joe Smith and the draft rights to DeVon Hardin was rescinded. Chandler has been sidelined since Jan. 19, when he injured his left ankle in a game against Boston. But the reason for his failed physical had more to do with the big toe on his left foot, than his ankle. Oklahoma City's team doctor, Carlan Yates, was the Hornets' team physician when he operated on Chandler's toe three years ago. "I laughed when I heard the reason," the Hornets' leading rebounder said. "It was very surprising to me, because I haven't missed a game because of the toe since I had my surgery on it. It hasn't caused me any problems, and I don't think it's going to cause me any problems in the future. I even congratulated Dr. Yates before on the great job that he did. That's what's comical about it." Lakers coach Phil Jackson rested Bryant for the first 5 minutes of the fourth quarter, and New Orleans reduced a 13-point deficit to 85-82 with 8:46 remaining on Butler's 3-pointer - one of five by the Hornets in the quarter. "We made it a lot harder on ourselves, which we have to give New Orleans credit for," Jackson said. "They came out in the fourth quarter and hit a bunch of 3s. We knew they would eventually start hitting them, but I don't think we were intent enough about covering them up." Paul's two free throws gave the Hornets a 95-93 edge with 3:21 to play after the Lakers turned the ball over on a traveling violation. James Posey, who helped Boston beat the Lakers in last year's finals, drained his third 3-pointer of the quarter to give the Hornets a 98-95 lead with 1:15 to play after Los Angeles tied it on a tip-in by Gasol. Paul was called for an offensive foul with 20.1 seconds left. Fisher took the charge, then made Paul pay for it with his tying 3-pointer. "We're used to it from him," Bryant said of Fisher. "That's what he does. That's why he is so valuable to our ballclub." The Hornets had one more chance to win it in regulation, but Paul missed a 22-footer over Fisher in the final second. "I missed the shot, and we have to live with it," Paul said. "They loaded up that side. I probably should have taken it middle of the court and isolated it."

Notes

Fisher played only one season for Utah, but left with a deep and abiding affection for Jazz owner Larry Miller, who died Friday night at age 64. "He was an extremely passionate and compassionate individual," said Fisher, who was allowed to get out of his multiyear contract by Miller and return to the Lakers because of his daughter's rehabilitation from eye surgery that forced him to miss a portion of the playoffs. ... The sellout crowd observed a moment of silence for Miller. ... The Lakers, who came in averaging a league-best 108.8 points, missed 15 of 16 shots over the first 7:22 of the second quarter.
Tagged: Pelicans, Lakers

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