ESPN: Chris Paul had 27 points and 17 assists to help the New Orleans Hornets beat the Los Angeles Lakers 108-98 Friday night in what could prove to be a costly game for both teams.

Paul hobbled to the finish after hurting his left ankle on a failed drive to the hoop with 2:31 to go. Lakers center Pau Gasol and David West, however, did not make it to the final horn.

Gasol sprained his left ankle in the first quarter and needed help getting to the locker room. West had 12 points and 14 rebounds for New Orleans, but limped off the floor with just under seven minutes remaining, having reaggravated a nagging left ankle sprain that kept him out for three games a week earlier.

Kobe Bryant had 36 points and nine assists for Los Angeles, which lost for only the third time in 17 games. He walked dejectedly to the locker room with 15 seconds left after fouling out. Lamar Odom had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Lakers, who won by 29 points when they visited New Orleans on Jan. 9, but this time shot only 38 percent.

Tyson Chandler had 14 points and 20 rebounds in the latest impressive triumph for the Hornets, who beat San Antonio by 25 points on Wednesday. But the Hornets could struggle in Detroit on Sunday if both West and Paul either play hurt or sit out altogether.

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