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Lakers 107, Hornets 92

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LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant and Jeremy Lin each scored 21 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers ended a five-game skid with a 107-92 rout of the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday night at Staples Center.

Lin connected on eight-of-12 shooting, including three of six on 3-pointers, and also dished out seven assists as the Lakers (1-5) avoided the worst start in franchise history, an 0-7 beginning that belongs to the 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers. The Hornets (3-4) had their two-game winning streak snapped.

Forward Carlos Boozer finished with 16 points and six rebounds for the Lakers. Los Angeles center Jordan Hill chipped in 12 points, seven assists and six rebounds.

Center Al Jefferson led Charlotte with 23 points and eight rebounds, while point guard Kemba Walker scored 17 points. Guard Gary Neal came off the bench to add 14 points.

Charlotte held a 51-42 lead at the break before the Lakers used a dominating third quarter to bolt past the Hornets and roll.

Lin scored 12 points in the third as Los Angeles outscored Charlotte 34-13, including a 25-5 run to end the quarter. The Lakers also made 66.7 percent (12 of 18) of their shots compared to only 27.8 percent (five of 18) for the Hornets.

A layup by Boozer, who had 10 points in the third, tied the score at 59 with 5:35 remaining. Back-to-back treys by Lin and Bryant gave the Lakers a 67-59 advantage with 4:07 left in the quarter. Two free throws by Lin and a bucket by forward Ed Davis with 2.4 seconds remaining increased the margin to 76-64 heading into the final period.

Los Angeles opened the fourth quarter with a 20-6 run to seal the win. Lakers coach Byron Scott took out his starters with 2:07 left in the game with the Lakers leading by 15 points.

NOTES: The Lakers spent their four-day break focusing on improving a porous defense that has allowed 119 points per game in their last four contests. “Really emphasized our pick-and-roll defense, talked to our bigs about being a little more aggressive and being more consistent on that end of the floor,” coach Byron Scott said. … Lakers F Ryan Kelly missed the game with a sore right hamstring. … Charlotte’s Steve Clifford served as an assistant with the Lakers under Mike D’Antoni and Mike Brown before becoming head coach of the Hornets in 2013. … The Hornets resume their four-game West Coast swing against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday. They also visit the Phoenix Suns on Friday and the Golden State Warriors on Saturday. … The Lakers hit the road for two games against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday and the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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