The Los Angeles Lakers were sluggish out of the gate but righted themselves and went on for a relatively comfortable 112-95 home win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Laker defense got off to a bit of a slow start as the Pelicans made each of their first five shots from the field, going up 11-5. Anthony Davis was active as he recorded a block and steal, but offensively Los Angeles was unable to convert on wide-open looks.
Brandon Ingram got rolling by hitting a few midrange jumpers and getting into the lane, while the Lakers had issues trying to score against a packed painted area. New Orleans eventually cooled off, but L.A.’s struggles shooting from both the field and the free throw line had them down 28-20 after the first quarter.
The top of the second was no different for the Lakers as they had zero answers for a Pelicans team that constantly had players clogging the lane. Montrezl Harrell was able to provide some much-needed scoring, but New Orleans heated up again and managed to extend their lead to 15 points.
Dennis Schroder and Alex Caruso ignited an 11-0 run after draining back-to-back triples, but Ingram responded with a quick five points to keep the Pelicans well ahead. Davis was able to carry the scoring burden the stretch, keying a 9-2 run that put the team behind only 58-57 at the half.
The Lakers took their first lead since the opening quarter after a LeBron James dumpoff to Davis, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope followed up with a pair of 3s. Zion Williamson and Ingram combined for a 10-2 spurt to briefly get the Pelicans back on top, but Los Angeles responded.
Defensively, the purple and gold were much more engaged as they did a better job of rotating and contesting shots. The Lakers really turned things on during a 15-0 run, going into the fourth up 84-75.
New Orleans started the period with a 5-0 run, but James and Harrell were able to counter and keep them at bay. Alex Caruso helped extend the Laker lead to 17 after finding Harrell for an and-1 and later draining a three.
Los Angeles was able to maintain control of the game and walked away with another solid win, their fifth in a row.
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