Paul bests Bryant as Hornets take Game 1

April, 17, 2011
4/17/11
7:50
PM ET
By ESPN Stats & Info
ESPN.com
Archive
The New Orleans Hornets provided the second stunner of the day upsetting the Los Angeles Lakers to take a 1-0 series lead.

According to Elias, this is was the 16th time a team coached by Phil Jackson opened their postseason at home, but the first time the team lost.

Chris Paul
Paul
The Hornets were able to pull off the victory thanks to point guard Chris Paul who scored 33 points while dishing out 14 assists.

Paul scored or assisted on 25 of the Hornets 34 field goals while he was on the court.

In the first half he picked up 10 of those assists, getting his teammates involved as the Hornets took an eight-point lead to halftime.

Then after the break Paul picked up the scoring load with 22 points in the final 24 minutes.

He created more opportunities for himself getting to the free throws 12 times in the second half alone after taking no free throws in the first.

It marked the fifth time in his playoff career that Paul notched 30 points and 10 assists, tied with Kobe Bryant for the most such games since 2008.

Speaking of Bryant he scored 34 points, his 79th career 30-point game in the playoffs, but it was Paul who controlled the game.

Combining points scored and points scored off assists, Paul created 63 points for the Hornets compared to just 46 by Bryant.

Kobe took 26 shots for the Lakers -- the rest of the starting five combined to take only 32.

The Lakers fell to 9-9 this season when he shoots 25 or more times.

The matchup to watch for Bryant the rest of this series will be when he’s guarded by former Laker Trevor Ariza.

Game footage showed, through the first three quarters Bryant torched Ariza scoring 20 points when guarded by him. However Ariza won the battle in the fourth holding Bryant scoreless when matched up against him.

While his brother Marc Gasol (24 points) helped the Memphis Grizzlies pull of the first upset of the day, Pau Gasol was held to only eight points, his fewest in a playoff game since joining the Lakers.

He only attempted nine shots despite playing 37 minutes.

With David West out for the season due to injury, the Lakers entered the series with a distinct frontcourt advantage.

However the tandem of Gasol and Andrew Bynum (13 points) were matched by Carl Landry (17) and Emeka Okafor (4) with 21 points, providing the Hornets with an unlikely boost.

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