In a pivotal game that could very well swing the Play-In Tournament race, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the New Orleans Pelicans 121-104.
Anthony Davis got off to a strong start by scoring the Lakers’ first eight points while Malik Beasley and D’Angelo each nailed open 3s to give them a 14-0 lead. Brandon Ingram finally got New Orleans on the board with an and-one, but Beasley knocked down another 3 to put the Lakers up 13.
The Pelicans could not find the bottom of the net as they missed several open shots, so the Lakers happily took advantage on the other end to push their lead to 18. New Orleans went on a 11-3 run near the end of the quarter, but Russell added two more 3s of his own, giving Los Angeles a 39-24 lead after one.
Beasley remained hot from the field, draining three more 3-pointers at the start of the second to push the Laker lead to 26. Rui Hachimura did well in single coverage on Ingram, and he joined in on the 3-point shooting fun by draining a pair to keep them ahead 60-34.
The Lakers’ offense had no issues generating the looks they wanted, keeping the Pelicans well at bay with their shotmaking. Los Angeles poured it on on both ends of the floor, leaving New Orleans in the dust and going into the locker room with an overwhelming 75-40 lead.
L.A. picked up where they left off in the first half, going on a 7-0 run to go up by 40 before a couple of buckets from Jonas Valanciunas. However, the Lakers and Davis were able to quickly respond and a Jarred Vanderbilt dunk forced yet another timeout.
New Orleans started to find some rhythm offensively with better ball movement, trimming Los Angeles’ lead down to below 30 which forced Darvin Ham to call a timeout. The Lakers played their worst stretch of the game as they let their foot off the gas pedal but they still went into the fourth leading 98-75.
Momentum swung completely in favor of the Pelicans who played with much more effort and energy to get the Laker lead down to 19. The purple and gold had to re-insert their starters but that didn’t stop New Orleans from competing and hanging around midway through the period.
Although the Pelicans didn’t go away, the Lakers were able to hold them back a bit by taking advantage of being in the bonus. Fortunately, they were able to convert on their opportunities and they would go on to win a crucial game.
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!