Monday, 25 April 2011

Lakers get out New Orleans-ed as Hornets tie series

Posted by chardyboy on Monday, April 25, 2011 0 comments

source:By Glenn Guilbeau, Gannett Louisiana

The New Orleans Hornets out-New Orleans-ed the Los Angeles Lakers 93-88 Sunday night at New Orleans Arena to even the series at two games apiece and guarantee another playoff game in this city on Thursday night.

So what if that's also the same night of the NFL Draft and the eve of the Jazz Fest. New Orleans can fit it in.

"I think that's about all I was thing about in the locker room — we've got to come back here," said Hornets point guard Chris Paul, who did his best to make sure that happened with his second career playof triple-double. "We've got to come back here."

Paul, who is barely six feet tall if he is, grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds among the redwoods of Los Angeles while scoring 27 and tossing 15 assists. LA even tried 6-10 Lamar Odom a few times with little impact. Because this was Paul's night, and this was New Orleans' night.

"They said it couldn't be done, and we did it twice," a fan yelled from the upper deck of the sold-out arena that had more than 18,000 rocking throughout the night.

"I've played a lot of games here," said Paul, who has played his entire career in New Orleans beginning in 2005 as a first round draft choice. "But tonight was something." 

Just when it looked like the Lakers would not have to see New Orleans again, the Hornets made their first significant run of the series in the central time zone. Trailing 45-37 at the three-minute mark of the second quarter, New Orleans hit a high note by outscoring the Lakers 12-0 to close the first half and take a 49-45 lead.

The Lakers got back in the game, but they were never in control again and trailed by 79-71 midway in the fourth period. Twice they were within two in the final moments but could not overcome the Hornets' late first half attack. 

Then Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers hit center court right on cue at halftime and turned the crowd on even more, and it was basically over. Chris Paul and Kermit were way too much for Kobe Byrant, who was scoreless in the first half. He got his team back in the game with 14 in the third period and finished 17, but he left limping.

Game 5 will be in Los Angeles Tuesday with Game 6 in New Orleans on Thursday. The Hornets were scheduled to fly out at noon Monday, and they should bring Kermit with them.

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