NEW ORLEANS — Monty Williams wondered before Wednesday night’s showdown with the Lakers how his young Hornets would handle the success of winning two nights earlier.
He found out in the third quarter.
New Orleans allowed the Lakers to go on a 13-0 run to begin the second half and the Hornets never recovered, falling 103-87 to Los Angeles.
And for the 10th time in the past 12 games, New Orleans lost.
New Orleans (5-12) led after the first and second quarters, taking advantage of the Lakers’ average shooting.
Everything unraveled for the Hornets, however, out of halftime. The Hornets went 0-for-6 and turned the ball over three times in the first 4 ½ minutes.
That was the crease the Lakers (9-10) needed.
The run started when Antawn Jamison sank a long-range 3-pointer just 42 seconds into the third quarter. Kobe Bryant, who surpassed 30,000 career points in the game, and Dwight Howard then combined for the next 10 points, all on shots within 5 feet.
By the time Greivis Vasquez hit a 7-foot jumper for New Orleans, the Hornets were down 60-50 and the Lakers were on their way.
First-year Hornets forward Ryan Anderson, who finished with 31 points and nine rebounds, did his best to keep New Orleans going scoring seven consecutive points to pull it within 70-62 late in the third. But the Hornets couldn’t come up with enough stops to catch up.
New Orleans turned the ball over just 12 times and kept pace with Los Angeles on the boards. But the Hornets couldn’t slow down the Lakers’ onslaught from 3-point range; Los Angeles went 13 of 28 from beyond the arc. Los Angeles shot 46.3 percent from the floor for the game.
Bryant finished with 29 points, six rebounds and four assists while Howard added 18 points and eight rebounds to pace the Lakers, who won only their second road game of the season.
Meanwhile, for New Orleans, Vasquez had 16 points and nine assists while Robin Lopez had 15 points and five blocks.