LeBron James Outduels Zion Williamson In First Lakers-Pelicans Matchup
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, 118-109.

Anthony Davis made his presence on the defensive end felt early as he came up with three blocks that led to Danny Green draining a pair of triples. Davis and LeBron James extended the Lakers lead but New Orleans eventually found some life attacking the paint.

While the Pelicans offense finally began to click, the Lakers experienced a lull on their side as they could not seem to knock down open shots and forced bad looks. The pace of the game to close the quarter picked up as both teams found success in transition, but Los Angeles found themselves up 30-26 after one.

Both the Lakers and Pelicans had no issues getting into the lane and scoring, but the latter took their first lead of the game after a Zion Williamson layup. Los Angeles was able to quickly recover as Alex Caruso found James on two cuts, the second ending in a booming dunk.

The Lakers bench provided a nice lift midway through the quarter with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, in particular, finding his rhythm from distance. Brandon Ingram and Williamson were able to keep New Orleans offense afloat, but James was aggressive hunting mismatches and Los Angeles went into the half up 64-58.

James caught fire from the field to begin the third quarter as he drained three consecutive triples and added a putback, going on a personal 11-0 run to push the Lakers lead into double digits. However, the Pelicans battled back with Ingram leading the way as he heated up from the floor.

With James on the bench, Los Angeles relinquished the lead as they could not buy a bucket while New Orleans consistently attacked the paint for easy baskets. However, the purple and gold were able to recapture the momentum and went into the final period with a slim 88-86 advantage.

Caruso provided a much-needed spark to begin the fourth as he came up with a huge block on Lonzo Ball and followed that up with an and-one to keep the Lakers ahead. Despite Davis struggling from the field, he was still aggressive driving at his defender and defending the rim.

Ingram and Williamson were able to get the Pelicans into striking distance late in the game, but James once again proved to be too much as he saw little resistance when getting to the rim. The Lakers defense was able to force a couple of late turnovers and they were able to walk away with the win.

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