NBA Playoffs 2011: L.A. Lakers vs. New Orleans Hornets Game 4 Report Card

Joshua SextonSenior Analyst IIApril 25, 2011

NBA Playoffs 2011: L.A. Lakers vs. New Orleans Hornets Game 4 Report Card

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Fueled by Chris Paul's triple double, the New Orleans Hornets defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 93-88 Sunday night to even their first-round playoff series at two games apiece.

    Paul finished with 27 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds.

    Game 5 will be played Tuesday night in Los Angeles.

    Here is the report card from the Hornets' 93-88 Game 4 victory.

12. Trevor Ariza

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    After being a non-factor in the first three games of the series, Trevor Ariza had 16 first-half points to jump-start the Hornets.

    Ariza finished with 19 points and six rebounds. The Hornets can only hope Ariza continues to be a threat offensively as the series progresses.

    Final Grade: B

11. Kobe's Sprained Ankle

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    At the end of Game 4, Kobe Bryant tweaked his left ankle. Although he finished the game, Lakers fans can only hope he is fully healthy for Game 5.

    Final Grade: F

10. The Lakers Bench

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    The Lakers bench finished with a quiet 18 points, equaling the output of the Hornets reserves.

    Steve Blake, Shannon Brown and Lamar Odom all finished with six points each.

    Matt Barnes finished with zero points in 12 minutes.

    Final Grade: C

9. The Hornets Bench

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    The Hornets reserves provided a respectable 18 points in the Game 4 victory, after mustering only nine points in Game 3.

    Aaron Gray provided seven first-half points, and Jarrett Jack hit clutch shots down the stretch to seal the victory.

    Final Grade: B

8. Ron Artest

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    Ron Artest has arguably been the Lakers' most consistent player thus far this postseason.

    Artest had another solid performance in Game 4.

    The small forward finished with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting.

    Final Grade: B

7. The Lakers Defense

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    The Lakers defense was not horrible, but for the first time in the series, the Hornets outrebounded the Lakers (39-32).

    The Lakers ultimately did not get the stops they needed to win the game, and they let Chris Paul get back into his Game 1 domination mode.

    Final Grade: C

6. The Lakers Offense

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Kobe Bryant went scoreless in the first half, and the frontcourt failed to gain any momentum all night.

    Take away Ron Artest's big first half and Bryant's big third quarter, and the Lakers offense was fairly ugly all night.

    The Lakers only shot 43 percent for the entire game.

    The Lakers finished with 17 assists. That usually means there was not a lot of consistent ball movement.

    Final Grade: C-

5. The Lakers Frontcourt

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    The Lakers frontcourt monster of Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom never really left an imprint on Game 4.

    Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol were plagued with early foul trouble and never got in a comfortable rhythm.

    Lamar Odom only provided six points on 1-of-7 shooting.

    Final Grade: C

4. The Hornets Defense

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    The Hornets defense was stellar in Game 4, holding the Lakers to 43-percent shooting from the field.

    The Hornets prevented anyone on the Lakers from having a big game.

    Final Grade: B+

3. The Hornets Offense

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    The Hornets offense was not much better than the Lakers'.

    The Hornets shot 44 percent for the game.

    But it was good enough to get the victory.

    Final Grade: B-

2. Kobe Bryant

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Kobe Bryant finished the first half of Game 4 without a point. It was the first time since 2004 that Bryant went scoreless in the first half of a playoff game.

    Kobe Bryant made up for his first-half goose egg with 17 second-half points, 14 of which came in the third quarter.

    In addition, Bryant finished with eight assists.

    When you add in his ankle sprain at the end of the game, it certainly wasn't Bryant's finest hour.

    But when you consider how average the Lakers frontcourt was in Game 4, Kobe kept the Lakers heads above water in the second half.

    Final Grade:  B-

1. Chris Paul

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Chris Paul finished with 27 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds. Paul reached his triple double halfway through the third quarter.

    On a night when the offense struggled, Paul was able to lead his team to the series-tying victory with an outstanding performance.

    Final Grade: A