It took some time to get going, but once the Los Angeles Lakers locked in on the defensive end it was smooth sailing for the rest of the night against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Lakers allowed just 37 points after halftime and overcame a 15-point first-half deficit to defeat the Pelicans 112-95. The win was the Lakers’ fifth straight and improved their record to an NBA-best 11-3.
It was also the third consecutive game in which the Lakers held their opponent to 100 points or fewer.
LeBron James had an extremely efficient night, leading the Lakers with 21 points on just 11 shots to go along with 11 assists and eight rebounds. James also knocked down all seven of his free throw attempts.
Anthony Davis again set the tone defensively with three steals and three blocks to offset his struggles from the field as he scored just 17 points. The Lakers also got contributions from multiple role players.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope continued his outstanding level of play with 16 points while knocking down four 3-pointers. Montrezl Harrell added 16 points and five rebounds off the bench while Kyle Kuzma finished with a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds.
As opposed to their three-game road trip, the Lakers got off to an extremely slow start and looked uninterested for much of the first half. They allowed the Pelicans to shoot 61% from the field and 46.2% from deep, but only trailed by a point because of New Orleans’ own miscues.
The Pelicans committed 14 turnovers in the first half and sent the Lakers to the free throw line 20 times, allowing them to hang around.
The Lakers would get their offense clicking thanks to excellent ball movement and outside shooting. The team assisted on 31 of their 39 baskets and hit 15 3-pointers at a 40.5% rate. L.A. pushed their lead out to as much as 25 points in the fourth quarter.
Former Laker Brandon Ingram had an efficient night with 20 points on 9-for-15 shooting while Zion Williamson led the Pelicans with 21 points and 12 rebounds.
Next up for the Lakers
The Lakers have a couple of days off before hosting the Golden State Warriors on Martin Luther King Day. After that they hit the road for their longest road trip of the the first half of the schedule, a seven-game journey that starts in Milwaukee.
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