The reigning NBA champions Los Angeles Lakers and Western Conference top seeds San Antonio bounced back from disappointing playoff openers with game-two victories.
The Lakers, seeking a third straight NBA title, on Wednesday survived a quiet night by superstar Kobe Bryant to beat new Orleans 87-78, knotting their best-of-seven first-round series at one game apiece.
Veteran Ron Artest added 15 points, including a three-pointer that gave them an 84-74 lead with 40 seconds to play.
The Lakers did a better job on Paul, who still scored 20 points with nine assists.
"We stayed in front of him for the most part," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "He made some big plays for them ... but I think we did a better job being attentive to him, and that's as good as it gets right now."
Odom said the ability of the Lakers bench to overcome the difficulties of Bryant and Gasol was a sign of maturity.
"It shows how we've got better, how the team has grown. It was important for all of us to improve and make an impact."
The series shifts to New Orleans for game three on Friday, where the Hornets will try to cut down on the 16 turnovers that Paul said prevented them from pushing the Lakers more.
"We know we didn't play up to our potential, starting with me," Paul said. "Us as a team, turnovers and stuff -- we fought, but we know we could have played a better game."
In San Antonio, Ginobili shrugged off the awkwardness of the protective brace on his right elbow, grabbing seven rebounds and four steals and handing out four assists.
"I haven t played in 10 days. It's not that much, but when you come from 80 games, playing every other game, I was a little rusty," Ginobili said. "Hopefully by the next one, I'll feel better."
Ginobili said he still wasn't used to playing with the brace.
"It was uncomfortable," he said. "But I felt I did OK. I took some risk. I went for some steals and rebounds and it wasn't that I played worried about getting hit or something."
Sam Young had a team-high 17 points for the Grizzlies, who posted their first franchise playoff win in game one. Young drained a three-pointer with 14 seconds left to make it 89-87 but that was as close as Memphis would get.
Marc Gasol, brother of the Lakers' Pau, had his second consecutive strong game for the Grizzlies, scoring 12 points and a grabbing a playoff team-record 17 rebounds.
Game three is on Saturday in Memphis.
While Durant led the way for Oklahoma City, the Thunder got solid contributions from everyone as they built a 26-point lead early in the second quarter against a Nuggets team that shot just 39 percent from the field for the contest.
"Everybody chipped in tonight," Durant said. "That's what we're going to need."
James Harden scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half as the Thunder took control.
The Thunder came out with plenty of spark as Westbrook and Durant nailed three pointers to begin the game.
Oklahoma City then built a 29-10 lead late in the opening quarter. The Thunder also scored 12 of the first 14 points in the second quarter with the help of two three-pointers by Harden.
The series now shifts to Denver for game three.
Source: AFP American Edition