Sports Update: Can Lakers recover from Hornets sting?
After a loss to the Hornets, pressure on the Lakers swells.
April 18th, 2011
01:31 PM ET

Sports Update: Can Lakers recover from Hornets sting?

A 109-100 loss to the Hornets? Not exactly how the two-time defending champion L.A. Lakers were hoping to kick off their quest for another national title. But that's precisely where the team finds itself, one game down and facing the explosiveness of point guard Chris Paul, who racked up 33 points and 14 assists during a shocking Game 1 in the Western Conference.

As SI.com's Lee Jenkins explains, despite having a relatively lackluster season and going 0-4 against the Lakers, the Hornets blasted past a defense incapable of shutting down Paul. "He sandbagged the sandbaggers with a combination of crossovers, floaters and step-back jumpers that left the Lakers wondering who they had spent the past three days watching on film," Jenkins writes. "This was Paul, circa 2008, when he led the Hornets to 56 wins and ran figure-eights around the Mavericks in the first round."

While the Lakers acknowledged that Paul had the ability to dominate in at least one game of the series, the fact that Los Angeles saw their expected Game 1 win go up in a 41 minute blaze of Paul shooting was, well, surprising.

But the question pressing forward will be if the Hornets and, more specifically, high-scoring Paul, can keep up the performance that they showed Sunday at the Staples Center. If the Lakers are lucky, the answer will be no. NBA playoff action continues tonight.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat (7 p.m., ET) - "Will he or won't he?" is the question when it comes to Dwyane Wade and whether he'll join fellow Heat players when the team faces off against the 76ers tonight.

Indiana Pacers vs. Chicago Bulls (9:30 p.m., ET) The Pacers may have fallen 104-99 to the Bulls, but their performance definitely showed that the team is one to reckon with in Game 2.

By The Numbers

41 - Number of points scored by Kevin Durant in the Hornets upset of the Denver Nuggets Sunday night.

.002 - The official margin in seconds that Jimmie Johnson took the Talladega checkers over Clint Bowyer. It ties the closest finish since NASCAR went to electronic timing. Brant James recaps the race.

115 - Number of times the Boston Marathon has been run. The historic race kicks off today.


Filed under: Basketball • NBA • Running • Sports
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Matt

    "41 – Number of points scored by KEVIN DURANT in the Hornets upset of the Denver Nuggets Sunday night."
    ...I think you meant Chris Paul.

    April 18, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      CNN:
      Kevin Durant plays for the Thunder and scored 41 against the Nuggets!
      Seriously CNN, your editors are the best!

      Matt:
      Chris Paul plays for the Hornets and scored 31 points in the win against the Lakers!

      April 18, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Yes, I made an error: Chris Paul actually scored 33, not 31. 😀

      April 18, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mmmmm

    Nah he'll no...no one recovers...without the epi-pen...

    April 18, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy

    Who cares? DA BULLS!!!!!!

    April 18, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy

    Sutler, you made an error? Ohhhhhh, not you!!!! My faith in you has been destroyed! 🙂 btw, how are ya?

    April 18, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. oiu

    You suck.

    April 18, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. oiu

    I suck, too.

    April 18, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Name*Me

    I think he meant "thunder" instead of hornets

    April 18, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Scrooge

    All of a sudden we have chicago bulls fans something we thought we would never see again since their last champinship back in 1998

    April 18, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy

    I've been a Bulls fan all my life. And I truly hope that they can make it. Derrick Rose is the closest thing we've seen to MJ since 1998, also. DA BULLS!!!!!

    April 18, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • highspeedCU

      rose is a great player but as much as I hate kobe as a person and think lebron can't win the big games (lost 0-4 to the Spurs in the Finals) both players are closer to MJ than rose (neither is that close though). Rose doesn't even play the same position anyway. He does have a bright future and should move up the list of best players since MJ but right now he needs to prove he can win playoff games and bring home rings.

      April 19, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |