LOS ANGELES, April 10 (UPI) -- Kobe Bryant scored 30 points Tuesday, 23 in the fourth quarter, to lift the Los Angeles Lakers to a 104-96 victory over the visiting New Orleans Hornets.
The win gave the Lakers a half-game lead over Utah in the fight for the final playoff berth in the Western Conference.
Bryant, who also had six assists and five steals in the win, was a flat 2-for-7 entering the final period and wound up with a 9-for-18 mark from the field for the game and hit 10-of-11 free throws. The Lakers outscored the visitors 34-26 in the fourth.
Pau Gasol scored 22 and had 11 rebounds for the Lakers. Dwight Howard scored 19.
Eric Gordon scored 22 points for the Hornets, who have lost nine of their last 10 road games. Anthony Davis had a double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds.