Jeremy Lin's 21 helps Lakers bag 1st win of season

Jeremy Lin's 21 helps Lakers bag 1st win of season
Los Angeles Lakers guard Jeremy Lin (17) drives to the basket as Charlotte Hornets guard Gary Neal (12) gives chase in the second half of the game at Staples Center.

TAIPEI - After five straight losses opened the season with disappointing performances, NBA Taiwanese-American player Jeremy Lin finally scored a season-high 21 points on Sunday, giving the Los Angeles Lakers its first season win of the season in a 107-92 victory against the visiting Charlotte Hornets.

An explosive 12-point third quarter for Lin was the driving force behind the Lakers' rally in the third quarter of the game. Lakers launched a 34-13 run at the third, including a 25-5 run to end the quarter.

Lin's poor shooting has seen major improvement, reaching eight out of 12 on Sunday, including three out of six successful 3-pointers. He also dished out seven assists as well as three rebounds and one steal.

Kobe Bryant had 21 points and Carlos Boozer added 16 as the Lakers left Philadelphia the NBA's only winless team at 0-7.

"I think we played really hard tonight," said Lin after the game.

"Everybody gave everything they had and we had big contributions from all around the board."

The starting point guard said the team was continuously talking to each other during the game and worked together to force the opposing team to make tough jump shots.

Commenting on finding the rhythm to work with Bryant, Lin said both him and the multi-NBA All Star shooting guard were simply trying to figure out how to work together.

"It is a process ... and I think we are stepping in the right direction."

On the long-awaited win, Lakers head coach Byron Scott said the city has been waiting for a long time.

"Guys weren't just looking to get the ball to Kobe and step out of the way," Scott said. "I talked to Jeremy before the game about being more assertive on both ends of the floor."

The Lakers also had their best defensive outing against Charlotte.

They held an opponent to under 100 points for the first time this season and outscored the Hornets 65-41 in the second half.

The Hornets led by as many as nine points as they dominated the entire first half, but the Lakers stormed back with a 34-13 third quarter to claim the lead. The Hornets threatened briefly in the fourth quarter but never really encroached on the lead.

Al Jefferson scored 23 points and Kemba Walker added 17 for the Hornets, whose two-game winning streak ended. Gary Neal added 10 of his 14 in the fourth off the bench and Lance Stephenson had 10 rebounds.

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