The Los Angeles Lakers secured a key victory on Tuesday when they defeated the New Orleans Pelicans in a big game on the road. It was a game that the Lakers led by as much as 40 points and controlled throughout.
The Lakers jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first four minutes of the game. It was a complete effort with five players in double figures and everyone on the roster playing. The win put the Lakers in a three-way tie for the No. 8 seed and just three games back of the No. 4 seed.
Every game counts for the Lakers this late in the season with the standings shifting dramatically each night. Eyeing those standings can become a habit, but Austin Reaves emphasized the importance of just taking it one game at a time, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“It’s the danger of the NBA. I mean obviously we dropped one to the Knicks that hurt. We were in the game, couple of things went our way late. We couldve won that game, but everything’s kind of bunched up from what 12 to 5 and 6 [seed] or whatever. So you really just got to take it one game at a time. You can’t really worry about what’s going on outside of what we got to do. We approach every game to win. Then whatever happens on the backend happens.”
The Lakers seem to be adopting that mindset, not losing consecutive games since trading Russell Westbrook, Thomas Bryant and Patrick Beverley. Dealing those players away has seemingly paid off so far.
After LeBron James’ assessment of the Lakers squad at the beginning of the season surrounded a lack of “lasers” on the team, L.A. has changed its course. Against the Pelicans, the Lakers made 15 of their 18 3-pointers in the first half, a franchise record. New additions Malik Beasley and D’Angelo Russell had 10 3-pointers between themselves.
Reaves credited that hot shooting to playing smart basketball:
“Yeah I mean I feel like basketball Gods is a real thing. When you play the right way, you make the right pass, the shot goes from a 40% shot maybe to a 50-55% shot. If you know make the extra, swing, swing, whatever he just said. So it’s contagious to playing good basketball. Everybody passing it, everybody feeling good, you know. If you’re in the same position, when you make the extra next possession, the same things going to happen to you. You feel more confident in it. That’s the main thing in it. We just got really good looks and knocked them down.”
With LeBron still sidelined with an ankle injury, playing good basketball is crucial to keep the momentum going.
Malik Beasley went into Pelicans game feeling confident despite struggles
Lakers guard Malik Beasley erupted with 24 points and seven 3-pointers in the Lakers win against the Pelicans on Tuesday. Beasley had just five made 3-pointers in L.A.’s previous four games.
However, he still felt confident in his shot going into the matchup.
“I felt confident tonight. I just told myself to keep doing what I’m doing, don’t change anything up and don’t worry about the pressure of making shots, just do it. And tonight I did that and it felt good to get back in rhythm, but especially get the win.”
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