The Los Angeles Lakers welcomed the New Orleans Pelicans into town Tuesday night. It was the last home game of the season for the Lakers.
It was announced earlier in the day that D’Angelo Russell will miss the final two regular season games as he mourns the loss of his grandmother. It was also noted that Metta World Peace would start the game as it could his last game played in Staples Center as a Laker.
The Lakers started the game with a lineup of Jordan Clarkson, Metta World Peace, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, and Larry Nance Jr. The Pelicans countered with Tim Frazier, Jrue Holiday, Solomon Hill, Dante Cunningham, and Alex Ajinca.
The Lakers jumped out to a early 8-2 lead as solid defense and offensive mismatches led to easy baskets. Farzier drilled a three-pointer to bring the Pelicans within one, but Randle used his speed against Ajinca for the easy layup on the ensuing Lakers possession.
Coming out of a timeout Holiday knocked down a 19-foot jump shot. Tyler Ennis, who checked into the game for World Peace, got on the scoreboard when he made a pair of free throws to cut the Lakers deficit to one. Cheich Diallo made a midrange jumper for the Pelicans to extend their lead to six with less than five minutes to play in the period.
A blown layup by the Pelicans led to a layup by Randle on the other end when Ingram used a nice spin move to get around his defender to find Randle. On the following Pelicans possession Holiday made a short jumper, but Ingram quickly countered with a cutback slam dunk to bring the Lakers within four points.
David Nwaba got his night started by quickly scoring consecutive layups. With only a few seconds remaining, Nance Jr. drilled a corner three-pointer to give the Lakers a 26-25 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Lakers stared the quarter how they finished the first, quickly. Ennis and Thomas Robinson scored back-to-back baskets before Jordan Crawford got the Pelicans on the board. With the Lakers holding a five-point lead Diallo scored on a nice spin move leading to a Lakers timeout.
After Tarik Black blocked Ajinca’s shot attempt, the Lakers raced down the court where Corey Brewer found Nwaba for the alley-oop. Diallo then responded with two consecutive baskets to bring the Pelicans within four points.
A turnover by the Pelicans led to another alley-oop for the Lakers, this time it was Ennis finding Brewer for the layup finish. On the next Lakers possession Clarkson finished with a nifty layup, but the Pelicans quickly inbounded the ball and Crawford found Dante Cunningham for the alley-oop.
Ajinca scored his seventh point of the night by knocking down a 19-foot jumper to cut the Lakers lead to three. With less than a second remaining on the shot clock Clarkson drilled a three-pointer off an inbound pass from Randle.
The Lakers showed off their exciting play when World Peace found a cutting Ingram, who delivered a nice pass to Randle for the easy layup. Ajinca responded with a strong slam dunk after Clarkson connected in a short jumper to give the Lakers a five-point lead.
Cunningham tied the game for the Pelicans when drilled a corner three-pointer with a minute and a half left in the period. Before the quarter ended, Clarkson drew a foul on the Pelicans and made both free throws.
The Lakers lead at halftime, 57-53.
Clarkson got the quarter stared by knocking down back-to-back three-pointer to give the Lakers a 10-point lead. World Peace scored his first basket of the night by connecting on a three-pointer off, but Ajinca responded with a 19-footer on the following possession.
Robinson showed off his defensive prowess when he stole the ball and raced down the court for a slam dunk and-one play. Cunningham responded with a three-pointer of his own on the other end, World Peace quickly countered with a turnaround jumper for his seventh point of the night.
The Pelicans cut the Lakers lead to 11 when Holiday dribbled into the lane and finished with a reverse layup. After New Orleans got the lead down to seven, Robinson made a basket to halt the Pelicans momentum.
A strong left-handed slam by Hill led Luke Walton to call a timeout to get the Lakers regrouped on defense. Ingram finally got a basket to go when Nwaba found him cutting across the basket and rised over his defender for the score. Before the quarter ended Ingram threw down a ferocious slam dunk for the and-one opportunity.
The Lakers lead the Pelicans at the end of the third quarter, 85-73.
The Lakers began the quarter by knocking down two consecutive baskets to extend their lead to 16 points, the largest of the game. After a couple of baskets by the Pelicans, World Peace drilled his second three-pointer of the night.
Another long three by World Peace got Lakers fans and the bench on their feet and keep the Lakers lead at 16 points. The Pelican followed with a few baskets but the Lakers continued to score and keep a comfortable lead.
With four minutes remaining, Crawford hit a nice looking spin around jumper to force a Lakers timeout. Coming out of the timeout, Brewer scored a midrange jumper for his seventh point of the night. Crawford made a three-pointer to give him 11 points on the night.
With a chance to get one more basket with 30 seconds remaining and holding a comfortable lead, World Peace showcased his professionalism and opted to dribble the clock out. The Lakers went on to beat the Pelicans 108-96. World Peace led the Lakers with 18 points in possibly his last game in Staples Center as a Laker.
The Lakers finish the season tomorrow night as they head to Oakland and face the Golden State Warriors.