Lakers 87, Hornets 78

Kobe Bryant scored 11 points on 3-for-10 shooting and Pau Gasol had eight points on 2-for-10 shooting in Game 2 of the Lakers’ first-round playoff series against the New Orleans Hornets tonight at Staples Center. Normally, that would mean bad news for the Lakers, but they found a way to win a physical and methodical contest. Actually, they won with defense again, a throwback to those heady days when they won 17 of 18 after the All-Star break back in February. The Lakers gave up 109 points to the Hornets during their loss in Game 1 on Sunday. In Game 2, they gave up only 78 points and limited the Hornets to 39.1 percent shooting (27 of 69). Trevor Ariza had 22 points for the Hornets.

“We like it to be tough,” Andrew Bynum said of the series after scoring 17 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. “Even though they won the first game, we like o have a good first round opponent, kind of like (Oklahoma City) last year. They (the Hornets) made us play with a sense of urgency. So, losing this first game, that really put it right back on us.”

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