LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant scored 19 points and threw down two stirring dunks on a sprained left ankle, and the Los Angeles Lakers pushed the New Orleans Hornets to the brink of first-round playoff elimination with a 106-90 victory in Game 5 on Tuesday night, taking a 3-2 series lead.
Andrew Bynum had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Pau Gasol added 16 points as the two-time defending NBA champions roared back from a slow start in a pivotal game for their threepeat hopes with another dramatic playoff performance by Bryant, who injured his ankle in Game 4.
Trevor Ariza scored 22 points and Chris Paul had 20 points and 12 assists for the seventh-seeded Hornets, who have lost three of four since their stunning Game 1 victory.
Game 6 is Thursday in New Orleans.
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