Well that didn't go as planned, did it?

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kobe is unreal

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Photo by Jonathan Bachman

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Through a quarter and a half of tonight's game, it seemed like the Hornets would at least give the Lakers everything they could handle. New Orleans came out with good energy, forced turnovers and had a raucous home crowd behind them. Then, with the score tied at 27, the Lakers went into another gear, pulled out an 11–1 run and the rest is history. Considering how the Hornets have played recently, it was certainly a dissapointment.

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"Yea, it's disappointing," Coach Byron Scott said. "Two of our worst games have been against this team for whatever reason. That could be us, it could be them, it could be a combination of both."

-It was a combination of a lot of things. There was second quarter where the Lakers outscored the Hornets by 15. There was the Los Angeles Lakers' length, in the form of seven footers Andrew Bynum and Pao Gasol, which gave David West fits all game and forced him into just 5-of-15 shooting. And there were the refs who seemed dedicated to making sure the game didn't have a semblance of rhythm (not to mention clearly got into the Hornets' heads).

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But in the end, the biggest factor had to be that, at the moment, the Los Angeles Lakers are simply a better team than the Hornets. The Lakers took everything New Orleans threw at them for the first 20 minute of the game and were able to push back and imposed their will on them.

-"They just play aggressive," West said. "We had to work way too hard on the offensive end to get baskets. We really had to buckle down and guard them on every single play. We made it easy for them to guard us."

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On multiple trips down the floor, the Hornets offense had to put up three or four shots before finally registering points and then the Lakers would just go down the floor and get the points right back. In short, Los Angeles made the Hornets look like a bad basketball team.

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"Any time you play a team like the Lakers or the Celtics, you're playing against top tier teams," Morris Peterson said. "You always want to measure yourself against them. We all feel like we have work to do and we have to keep going up that hill."

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For a Hornets team that had won 10 fo their last 12 games, this loss was a serious reality check about just how hard they still have to work to be considered among the NBA's top teams. It certainly doesn't get any easier, either. The Hornets face the Orlando Magic (22–6) and Houston Rockets (19–10) on back-to-back nights. Then, after getting to play against Washington and Indiana (combined record of 14–40) the Hornets face Portland, Denver, the Lakers and Utah all on the road. It seems like the only silver lining to tonight's loss is that the Hornets don't have much time to let it sink in.

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"Whether you lose by 15 or you lose by 1, a loss is a loss," Chris Paul said. "I tell you one thing, when we get to Orlando we won't be thinking about this game."

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Certainly, this is a game that the Hornets would sooner like to forget.

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