After suffering a disappointing loss to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers had a quick turnaround as they hosted the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night.
This marked the third meeting this season between these two teams with them each blowing each other out once. This time, it was the Lakers that came out on top once again in a high-scoring 139-122 victory.
Anthony Davis got off to a nice start against his former team with five early points. After missing Thursday night’s game with a knee injury, D’Angelo Russell returned to the lineup and also had five quick points to give the Lakers an early 10-6 lead.
Zion Williamson was doing work inside early for his team though and then the Pelicans took the lead after a Brandon Ingram dunk.
Unfortunately, Davis got himself into some early foul trouble as he picked up three in the first quarter, forcing him to head to the bench. That allowed Ingram to attack the rim at will as neither team was playing much defense and the Pelicans led 39-36 at the end of the first.
It didn’t take long for the Lakers to regain the lead early in the second with Russell catching fire, making four 3-pointers in a row. Rui Hachimura also started to get going offensively and then James made back-to-back triples of his own as the Lakers built up their lead to double digits.
Both teams continued to shoot at a high rate to end the first half. Reaves and Davis were getting buckets, as were CJ McCollum and Herb Jones. The Lakers wound up having their highest scoring half of the season, taking an 87-74 lead into the locker room.
The Pelicans came out strong to begin the third quarter, going on a 12-2 run to get their deficit to a more manageable place, forcing Darvin Ham to take a timeout.
While the Lakers went cold for most of the third quarter, Russell heated back up again to close it out, getting the lead back to double digits at 115-102 going into the fourth.
The Pelicans began the fourth on a mini run to get their deficit back to seven. James began to take control with his passing from there though, getting good looks for his teammates to stop New Orleans’ run.
While the Pelicans stayed hot offensively, they couldn’t get enough stops to mount a real comebacks. Guys like Davis and Reaves continued getting easy buckets, closing out the win for the Lakers.
All five starters scored at least 20 on the night in what was a balanced scoring effort for L.A.
What’s next for the Lakers
After a tough back-to-back, the Lakers will now get some much-needed time off as they won’t play until Tuesday when they host the Detroit Pistons. That is the start of another back-to-back with them traveling to take on the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!