Los Angeles (2) vs New Orleans Hornets (7)
Final Score: Hornets 93, Lakers 88
Series: Tied 2-2
Okay we got it Kobe, you can make an impact in the game without having to score as much. We need you to score as much now. We can't afford for you to score your first points in the 3rd quarter.
Never mind what I said before, these pesky Hornets do not want to go away and good for them for making this a series. Tonight's loss reminds Laker fans where the teams Achilles heel is, at the 1 spot. Our 1 guards D. Fish and Blake need to play quicker and tighter. L.A. needs to guard the parameter and not be so inside heavy defensively. Now in saying this, we defended well in the first half but fell apart in the second. Apparently Chris Paul got the same memo Kobe did and waited to score his first points until the 3rd quarter. After that he just went ballistic. CP3 took advantage of the disadvantage and got himself a triple double, 27pts, 15asts, and 13rebs. His sidekicks Ariza and Landry totaled 35pts which doesn't hurt when trying to tie a playoff series going back to the Staples Center for a game 5.
The champs could not defend the pick and roll. You see the play forming and yet you continued to see the picker get the open jay or dunk.
Phil Jackson said in his post game interview, "We punked out tonight". I really hope his comments get his players riled up. I'm seeing Miami/Philly, Boston/New York, Orlando/Atlanta, and everyone else around the league for that matter getting physical. Where is our ESPN clashing clip? Tonight got really close between Kobe and Chris but nothing too dramatic. I always come back to Magic's comments about the Lakers getting "Out-physicaled" when they lost to Boston in the 2008 NBA Finals. Where were our big men tonight? The game's leading rebounder was a 6 foot Chris Paul.
I'm not sure what was more frustrating...the constant "Bee-Fense" chants or seeing Artest sit out for so long when he was playing well and was catching an offensive groove. Regardless a loss is a loss and this has officially become another OKC first round series. So much for getting some rest.
The scary moment of the game came late in the 4th quarter and it starred Kobe Bryant. Kobe tweaked his left ankle while defending Willie Green. The warrior in Kobe pained through the rest of the closing minute by choice as he denied a subbing Shannon Brown. Looking back maybe this wasn't such a great move after all. Coach Monty Williams took advantage of Kobe's heroic efforts and drew up a play to switch the defense on Chris vs a tweaked ankle bearing Kobe. This resulted to Kobe needing help defensively which left Jarrett Jack open for a last second mid range jay. His make put New Orleans up by 4 and sealed the game.