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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Lakers swat Hornets to end three-game slide

Lakers swat Hornets to end three-game slide

December 30, 2010 09:39 IST

The Los Angeles Lakers put an end to their recent struggles with a much-needed 103-88 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday.

Lamar Odom came off the bench to score a team-high 24 points for the Lakers (22-10), who shot 58 percent from the field to end a three-game losing streak.

The three defeats for Los Angeles were by 15 points or more, but the two-time defending champions produced an inspired effort on Wednesday to arrest the slide.

"Hopefully we can build on it because you never know what's going to happen the next game," Odom told reporters after his first game off the bench this season. "I knew Andrew (Bynum) was getting healthy - it didn't surprise me (coming off the bench). That's his starting spot."

Odom played a sixth-man role for most of last season but was starting this season in place of Bynum who missed the first month and a half while recovering from knee surgery.

Bynum returned to the starting lineup with 18 points, while Kobe Bryant made 8 of 14 shots for 20 points to rebound from an 8-for-27 shooting performance in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday.

"The shot selection was good, and the ball movement was good," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson. "I'm not sure Andrew is ready but (moving him back to the starting role) was the right thing to do."

Chris Paul led the Hornets (18-14) with 20 points and seven assists but Los Angeles, who are looking for their third consecutive NBA title, stormed to an 18-point lead at halftime and cruised home from there.

The Hornets shot just 41 percent from the field. Marco Belinelli had 15 points while forward David West played through a twisted left ankle he suffered in the first half and finished with just eight points.

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