The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, 123-113.
The Lakers had a field day in the paint to start the game as LeBron James was able to find Anthony Davis underneath the rim for easy baskets. Danny Green also shot the ball well, hitting his first two three-point attempts to help Los Angeles take the lead.
James continued to rack up assists, finding Green and Kyle Kuzma for corner threes that extended the Lakers lead to double digits while Davis took advantage of the Pelicans’ lack of size. New Orleans salvaged their poor defensive quarter with field goals at the end, but Los Angeles still held a 42-30 lead.
The Lakers offense finally slowed down as they were unable to get much going from the perimeter which allowed the Pelicans to slowly climb back into the game. Head coach Frank Vogel opted to bring in the starting five and they managed to restore order after hitting a few shots to get the team back on track.
Jrue Holiday sparked a 9-0 run toward the end of the quarter, attacking the paint and looking for his teammates for dump-offs and kick-outs. Despite their relative slump, the Lakers still maintained their 12-point advantage as they went into the half up 74-62.
Los Angeles’ defense came out flat to start the third as they allowed several open looks from three, but New Orleans failed to capitalize on all but one of their attempts. Meanwhile, Davis looked aggressive shooting the ball, nailing a trio of three-pointers to give the Lakers more breathing room.
Davis continued to terrorize the Pelicans as he drew fouls on his undersized defenders while playing excellent defense, hanging with his man in isolation situations and closing out hard on New Orleans’ shooters. Thanks to his effort on both ends, the Lakers went into the fourth quarter with a sizable 105-83 lead.
The Pelicans took no time trimming the deficit as they kicked off the fourth with a 9-0 run keyed by E’Twuan Moore. James looked to hurt his calf after a backcourt violation, but he stayed in the game and hit on a couple of shots to keep the Lakers comfortably ahead.
New Orleans was able to claw back and cut Los Angeles’ lead to single digits thanks to some nice plays from Derrick Favors, but Davis was able to come back in and settle the offense. He knocked down a short jumper in the lane that proved to be the final dagger and the Lakers secured the win.