The LeBron James-less Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Anthony Davis-less New Orleans Pelicans to begin their final road trip of the 2018-19 NBA season, 130-102.
The Lakers scored first, but the Pelicans went on a 7-0 run to begin the game. However, Rajon Rondo and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope combined for 20 points to tie it at 26.
With the Lakers bench starting the second quarter, they went on a 12-4 run led by Alex Caruso, who scored all of his 11 points — including two three-pointers.
While the Lakers established a five-point lead, the Pelicans made a run to close the first half to give themselves a 62-61 lead.
Caldwell-Pope’s 19 points led four players in double-figures as JaVale McGee had nine rebounds and Rondo added nine assists.
To begin the second half, Rondo’s quick six points helped the Lakers re-establish their lead.
While Rondo exited the game after accidentally getting elbowed by Ian Clark but later returned, McGee went coast-to-coast to give them an eight-point lead.
And when Caruso checked back in, he continued his hot first half by scoring a career-high 23 points to give the Lakers their biggest lead of the game, 105-84.
Although the Pelicans made one final push, the Lakers were able to extend their lead to 30 points and never looked back as Jemerrio Jones made his NBA debut.
Highlighted by Jones’ first points, six Lakers scored in double-figures as Rondo (24 points and 12 assists) and McGee (23 points and 16 rebounds) also had double-doubles.
The Lakers have now won four of their last five games since recently being eliminated from playoff contention by the Brooklyn Nets.
They also matched last season’s win total of 35 with five games still remaining in the season.