Half: Lakers 54, Hornets 51

The New Orleans Hornets played an almost flawless first quarter tonight in Game 5 at Staples Center. The Lakers recovered, thanks in part to a surge from their second unit to start the second quarter, and led by halftime. The Hornets shot 81.3 percent (13 of 16) in the first quarter, but they led by only 32-23. The Lakers’ backups got them back into the game with a 10-0 run to start the second quarter. Kobe Bryant, who was ineffective in the opening quarter and had an extended rest, went on a tear late in the half and scored 13 points on 6-for-10 shooting. Chris Paul had 11 points and eight assists to lead the Hornets.