The bane of Los Angeles' existence as of last night: Chris Paul.
The New Orleans Hornets point guard and his team managed an astonishing 93-88 win against the Lakers, tying his team's series with the reigning champs. Sans leading scorer David West, the Hornets managed to capitalize on its pick-and-roll game with Paul racking up a game high 27 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists. As SI.com's Mark Haubner writes:
"This night in New Orleans was all about Paul. In the first half, the Hornets played less pick-and-roll than we've seen. They looked to get everyone involved with more of a motion game, and Paul was content to play facilitator, with four points on just three shots and nine assists. In the second half, New Orleans re-emphasized its pick-and-roll game, and its floor leader took over."
While two wins in their series against the Lakers is impressive enough for a team that entered the playoffs a clear underdog, the real question will be two-fold: Will Kobe Bryant, after sustaining a foot/ankle injury, be able to return for Game 5? And can the Hornets continue the momentum that they established in Game 4 regardless of whether the Lakers star is on the court or not?
More playoff action, of both the NBA and NHL variety, up tonight:
San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies¬†(8 p.m. ET)
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Dallas Mavericks (8:30 p.m. ET)
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Denver Nuggets (10:30 p.m. ET)
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (7 p.m. ET)
San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings (10 p.m. ET)
BY THE NUMBERS
27 ‚Äď Rank that tennis player Julia Goerges moved to after a stunning defeat of favorite Caroline Wozniacki in the Porsche Grand Prix.
140 ‚Äď Number of laps led by Kyle Busch during Friday‚Äôs Nashville Trucks race.
26 ‚Äď Number of points scored by Celtics‚Äô power forward Kevin Garnett during the final game of Boston‚Äôs sweep of the Knicks.