Sunday, April 24, 2011
NBA PLAYOFFS-FIRST ROUND: GAME 3. LOS ANGELES LAKERS 100-86 NEW ORLEANS HORNETS
After tying up the series at home (following the Hornets giving them the 2001 Philadelphia 76ers treatment in Game 1) the Lakers took the series back to New Orleans and took control. The Hornets crowd was a hive of electricity and excitement but the Lakers silenced their buzz with a 100-86 win to take a 2-1 series lead. Kobe had 30 to pace the Lakes but his and the games greatest impression was Pau Gasol who defied critics, his range and the game with a clutch three. "It's funny how a shot can kind of turn the momentum around for him when he's had a hard time making shots around the basket and in the paint - and he knocks down a 3,'' Bryant marveled at his sidekicks buckaroo play. "It was just about playing my game and being assertive and being comfortable out there,'' Gasol added to go along with his 17 points and 10 rebounds. Andrew Bynum showing no ill-form to his ill-health added 14 points and 11 rebounds to the knees up, despite again going down on one knee in an injury he seems to be in matrimony with. 'Sixth Man of the Year' Lamar Odom also notched 13 points under the Lakers belt as they whipped themselves into shape and the Hornets out the game. As the Lake Show smartens up, they look more like the championship suitors they're supposed to be. New Orleans need to get back to that blue collar hard work. TIM DAVID HARVEY.