LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chris Paul had 33 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds, and the New Orleans Hornets pulled away down the stretch, stunning the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers with a 109-100 victory in their playoff opener Sunday.
Carl Landry scored 17 points and Jarrett Jack added 15 for the seventh-seeded Hornets, who overcame Los Angeles’ major size advantage with a phenomenal game from Paul.
The star playmaker scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, leading a late 8-0 run.
Kobe Bryant scored 34 points for the Lakers, who opened the postseason with the same halfhearted effort that comprised much of their regular season after three straight exhausting trips to the NBA finals.
Game 2 is Wednesday at Staples Center.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)