2011 NBA Playoffs: Lakers Stop Hornets, Level Series

The Los Angeles Lakers recovered from a shocking defeat in Game 1 with an 87-78 victory over the New Orleans Hornets at the Staples Center on Wednesday to even their first-round series at 1-1.

Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum took over the scoring for the Lakers as Kobe Bryant, who had 34 points in LA’s 109-100 loss in Game 1, concentrated on limiting Hornets point guard Chris Paul’s production. Bryant finished with only 11 points, but was also fairly successful in preventing Paul from slashing the Lakers defense as he did in Game 1. With Bryant virtually a non-factor in offense, Bynum and Odom came through for the two-time defending champions with 17 and 16 points, respectively.

Paul was hobbled by the Lakers defense all game long, but still finished with 20 points, including buzzer-beating treys at the end of the second and third quarters. Trevor Ariza added 22 points for the Hornets, who host the Lakers at New Orleans Arena for the next two matches, starting with Friday’s Game 3.

Meanwhile in the other Playoff games Wednesday, the West top seed San Antonio Spurs evened their series against the Memphis Grizzlies with a 93-87 win. The Oklahoma City Thunder, on the other hand, dominated the Denver Nuggets, 106-89, to take a 2-0 lead in their own series.