A three-day break didn’t do the Los Angeles Lakers much good, as they were blown out by the New Orleans Pelicans, 139-117, in the second of a three-game road trip that concludes Thursday. The Lakers saw Isaiah Thomas and head coach Luke Walton get ejected, and Rajon Rondo also had an early exit.
Thomas and Rondo had their nights come to an end in the first quarter after each picked up two sets of double-technical fouls. The matter began when Rondo elbowed Thomas in the face, drawing an off-ball foul.
Rondo was called for another foul once play resumed, and the two exchanged words. While they quickly were separated, Rondo appeared to further exacerbate the situation by walking toward Thomas, prompting a quick whistle and more technical fouls.
Rondo had four points and five assists, playing a hand in the Pelicans soaring out to a 46-33 lead through the first 12 minutes. It set a franchise record for most points scored in any quarter, and New Orleans tied a franchise mark for overall points scored.
Kyle Kuzma was instrumental in the Lakers mounting a 23-5 run that at one point cut their deficit to just five points in the second quarter. Kuzma made his first five shots, and went on to finish with a team-high 23 points on 10-for-20 shooting, including making 3-of-8 from 3-point territory.
It was Kuzma’s 16th game this season with at least 20 points, marking the most by a Lakers rookie since Magic Johnson had 32 such games in 1979-80.
Led by Anthony Davis and his game-high 42 points, the Pelicans had an answer for every Lakers spurt. New Orleans went on a 12-4 run to end first half, and when the Lakers pulled to within two points in the third, the Pelicans answered with a 13-2 run.
Davis did his damage on an efficient 15-for-18, while making all but one of his 11 free-throw attempts, and adding 15 rebounds, three steals and two blocks. He joined Joel Embiid (46 points and 15 rebounds) as players this season to have at least 42 and 15 against the Lakers.
Jrue Holiday had 24 points and 11 assists, while Darius Miller (xx points) and Nikola Mirotic (xx) helped shoulder the load off the bench. Mirotic’s points came after he was shut out in the first half.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope only scored five points, but added eight rebounds a season-high eight assists. Josh Hart impressed in another start, finishing with 15 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
It was also more of the same from Brandon Ingram (21 points and five assists) and Julius Randle (20 points and five rebounds).
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