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Roundup: Kobe-less Lakers sneak by Hornets - USA TODAY

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Roundup: Kobe-less Lakers sneak by Hornets - USA TODAY
Apr 10th 2012, 03:25

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Pau Gasol had 25 points and nine rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers overcame Kobe Bryant's absence to beat the New Orleans Hornets, 93-91 on Monday night.

Gerald Herbert, AP

Lakers forward Pau Gasol goes for a block of a Greivis Vasquez layup attempt during their Monday game. Gasol had 15 points to lead the Lakers to victory, despite missing Kobe Bryant.

Bryant missed his second straight game with a sore left shin, but Ramon Sessions helped pick up the slack with 17 points, including a 3-pointer that put the Lakers ahead by six with 26 seconds left. Andrew Bynum added 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who snapped a two-game skid.

Carl Landry had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Marco Belinelli scored 20 points for New Orleans, which led by as much as eight points in the fourth quarter, before the Lakers stormed back.

Greivis Vasquez added 18 points and 11 assists for the Hornets, hitting a career-high five 3-pointers on six attempts.

Chris Kaman had 16 points and five blocked shots, but committed his fifth foul with 6:04 left and had to sit for nearly four crucial minutes as New Orleans lost to the Lakers by six or fewer points for the third time in three meetings.

Gasol and Bynum helped the Lakers control the paint, as Los Angeles outscored New Orleans 42-28 inside and outrebounded the Hornets 46-35.

New Orleans stayed closed thanks in part to 9 of 15 shooting from deep, with Belinelli hitting four 3s.

After trailing by as much as nine points in the second quarter, the Hornets surged ahead by nine in the third period after a 12-4 run that included a 3 by Vasquez and a three-point play by Al-Farouq Aminu on a driving layup.

The lead was still at nine after Jason Smith's floater late in the third quarter, but the Lakers quickly cut it to 72-68 on Sessions' driving layup shortly before the end of the period and Metta World Peace's 3 to open the fourth.

The Hornets did not wilt right away as they often have this season, thanks to Belinelli, who scored seven straight Hornets points on a bail-out jumper at the shot clock buzzer, a double-pump jumper and a 29-foot 3 late in the shot clock to make it 79-71.

Soon after, a rare sellout crowd was chanting: "Beat L.A!"

That was right about the time the Hornets started missing shots and the Lakers stormed back.

Steve Blake drained a 3 from the corner and sank an off-balance floater off the glass during a 15-2 run that also included two inside buckets by Bynum. World Peace's 3 put Los Angeles back in front 89-86 with 1:31 left, then Sessions added a 3 to make it 92-86, and New Orleans could not quite recover, despite World Peace nearly turning the ball over with a long inbound pass to the Lakers' back court with 1.2 seconds left. Smith got his hand on the pass but could not corral it.

Thunder 109, Bucks 89

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Russell Westbrook scored 26 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder won their second straight game, beating the Milwaukee Bucks 109-89 Monday in a game that featured seven technical fouls and an ejection of Bucks backup forward Larry Sanders.

Sanders was ejected after earning a pair of technicals in the second half, while Mike Dunleavy, Brandon Jennings and coach Scott Skiles also were assessed technicals for Milwaukee. Oklahoma City's Nazr Mohammed and Serge Ibaka also were called for technicals.

Kevin Durant added 19 for the Thunder, who broke a three-game losing streak with a victory over Toronto on Sunday. Oklahoma City came into Monday's game trailing San Antonio by percentage points for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

Magic 119, Pistons 89

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Jason Richardson hit six 3-pointers and scored 22 points, J.J. Redick had 20 points and the Orlando Magic eased past the Detroit Pistons 119-89 Monday night.

Glen Davis added 16 points and 16 rebounds starting in place of center Dwight Howard, who missed his third game in two weeks with back spasms.

All five Orlando starters reached double figures in the Magic's first win over the Pistons this season.

The Magic also were playing without backup point guard Chris Duhon, who was suspended for the game for conduct detrimental to the team.

Tayshaun Prince led Detroit with 21 points and eight rebounds.

The Pistons lost their third straight game since a three-game winning streak. Detroit concludes its four-game road trip at Charlotte on Thursday.

Pacers 103, Raptors 98

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Danny Granger and George Hill scored 18 points each as the Indiana Pacers took an early lead and held off the Toronto Raptors 103-98 Monday night.

Paul George had 15 points and Leandro Barbosa added 14 to help the Pacers win for the fourth time in their last five games. Hill, making his first start of the season in place of the injured Darren Collison, also had seven rebounds and four assists.

Linas Kleiza scored 18 points — all in the fourth quarter — as the Raptors tried to rally from a 15-point deficit at the start of the period. David Anderson had 17 points and Amir Johnson 16 for Toronto. Ed Davis added 11 points and 10 rebounds and Ivan Calderon had 14 assists.

Wizards 113, Bobcats 85

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jordan Crawford scored 20 points and Washington got 67 points from their bench as the Wizards hammered the Charlotte Bobcats 113-85 Monday night in a matchup of the NBA's two worst teams.

James Singleton had 18 points and 12 rebounds and Cartier Martin chipped in with 19 points as the Wizards (13-44) swept the three-game season series from the Bobcats. John Wall scored just two points but had 12 assists.

Corey Maggette scored 23 points for the Bobcats (7-48), who lost their 12th straight.

It may have been a new low in Bobcats history losing by 28 points at home to the second-worst team in the league.

On the positive side, the Bobcats took a step closer to securing the worst record in the league and the best chance at the No. 1 pick in NBA draft lottery on May 30.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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