Lakers take down Hornets 100-87

NEW ORLEANS Kobe Bryant scored 26 points, Pau Gasol added 20, and Los Angeles beat the New Orleans Hornets 100-87 on Tuesday night in a performance that was more dominant than the final score indicated.

Using swarming defense to bottle up Chris Paul for much of the game, the Lakers stormed to a 19-point halftime lead and led by 20 after Bryant's jumper over James Posey early in the fourth quarter.

After stumbling through the beginning of their four-game road trip, the Lakers' dominance of the Hornets should serve as a warning to the defending champion Boston Celtics, who visit Los Angeles for a much-anticipated Christmas Day contest.

Paul finished with 17 points and 10 assists.

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