Jordan Hill, Pau Gasol, Jordan Farmar, Robert Sacre
|N. Young||SF||A. Aminu|
|P. Gasol||PF||A. Davis|
|C. Kaman||C||J. Smith|
|J. Meeks||SG||E. Gordon|
|S. Blake||PG||J. Holiday|
K. Bryant: Achilles Out
S. Nash: Back Out
D. Miller Foot Out
R. Anderson Foot Out
Jordan Hill Leads Lakers' 116-95 rout off Pelicans
By Greg Beacham
November 13, 2013
LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Lakers' sixth starting lineup in nine games clicked from the opening tip, and Jordan Hill was the biggest reason for the flow.
Hill had a career-high 21 points and 11 rebounds in his first start of the season, and Pau Gasol added 14 points and eight rebounds in the Lakers' 116-95 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night.
Nick Young scored 17 points for Los Angeles, which lost five of its last seven before trouncing the Pelicans, who beat them handily last week. The Lakers left New Orleans embarrassed by their effort, but they made up for it back home with likely their best all-around performance since a season-opening win over the Clippers.
"We've just got to do this every night, because we're not good enough to take any plays off," Hill said. "We've got to have that energy every time we step on the floor. That's what I try to bring whenever I'm there. I don't care if I'm starting." With both members of the Lakers' decorated backcourt sidelined, Hill shined in his chance to join the Lakers' latest starting lineup. Steve Nash is out for at least two weeks with nerve problems in his back, while Kobe Bryant still hasn't returned to practice after surgery on his torn Achilles' tendon in April.
Jodie Meeks and Xavier Henry scored 15 points apiece for the Lakers, who led by 20 points in the first half before coasting to their 12th win in their last 13 regular-season meetings with New Orleans. Los Angeles' current lineup isn't festooned with stars, but coach Mike D'Antoni is hopeful his collection of role players will stay competitive in Kobe's absence.
"This is a good group of guys, (and) I think today they realized what it's going to take to win," D'Antoni said. "And they did it. I think Jordan Hill being in that first group helped everybody with his energy ... and then everybody picked it up."
After missing much of last season with hip woes, Hill seized his chance to contribute to the Lakers, surpassing his previous career high in points early in the third quarter. The fifth-year big man provided his usual energy and rebounding determination to Los Angeles, but supplemented it with an accurate shot and constant rolls to the basket, where his teammates repeatedly found him for scores.
"He's a good guy to lean on if you want a jolt of energy," D'Antoni said.
Los Angeles outrebounded New Orleans 53-31 and had 33 assists, including 10 from new starting point guard Steve Blake.
Eric Gordon scored 17 points for the Pelicans, who have lost on the first two stops of their three-game West Coast road trip. New Orleans' struggles practically mirrored the Lakers' poor effort in Louisiana last week, leaving coach Monty Williams frustrated. "We just didn't go out there and play as hard as we had been playing," Williams said. "We had the same game plan against that team last week and held them to 85 points, but we just didn't execute tonight. When we got down, and as a young team, I think we let our offensive game affect our defense. It was just too easy for them."
Tyreke Evans had 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting after nearly sitting out with an ankle injury for the Pelicans, who snapped an 11-game losing streak in this series Friday. Anthony Davis, who scored a career-high 32 points in that win, had just 15 points in the rematch - nine in the fourth quarter.
"They just played harder than us," Davis said. "We were kind of slow and didn't have a lot of energy out there. I got in foul trouble early, and it's hard to play like that. I never got going."
Two days after giving up 47 first-quarter points to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a blowout home loss, the Lakers fared much better early on against New Orleans. Los Angeles opened the second quarter with a 22-5 run to take a 20-point lead, pushing it to 28 in the second half.
Lou Amundson debuted for the Pelicans, scoring three points while playing in a No. 17 jersey that didn't have his name on the back. New Orleans boosted its frontcourt depth by signing the UNLV product Tuesday along with Josh Childress, who didn't play.
NOTES: Henry threw down an exhilarating one-handed dunk late in the third quarter right on top of New Orleans rookie 7-footer Jeff Withey. Henry and Withey were teammates with the Kansas Jayhawks during the 2009-10 season. "That's my guy, but he shouldn't have been under there," Henry said with a laugh. ... Backup C Greg Stiemsma sprained his knee in the first half and didn't return for the Pelicans. ... Dodgers slugger Yasiel Puig and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler watched the game at courtside. Clippers coach Doc Rivers sat in the fifth row in a black cap watching his son, New Orleans G Austin Rivers, who scored seven points in 15 minutes.
Copyright 2013 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited
Lakers Head Coach Mike D’Antoni:
(On who to credit for the improved overall energy)
“I said the whole time that this is a good group of guys. We stressed it before, but I think today they realized what it’s going to take to win, and they did it. I think Jordan Hill being in that first group helped with his energy, and Wesley Johnson [too]. I thought they set the tone defensively, and then everybody picked it up. I thought everybody contributed tonight.”
(On what made Jordan Hill effective tonight)
“I think he’s been effective the whole time. The group he was with, the second group, was our best lineup. I was a little hesitant to break that up, because that was the thing that seemed like it was going well. But, he gave the first group a little jolt of energy.”
(On limiting Anthony Davis)
“We just played harder… We got up on him, squeezed him a little bit. He’s still going to be a good player, but the last game we just let him run wild.”
(On shifting rotations or playing at home being the reason for improved play)
“To me, it’s more of a focus and understanding on what we have to do. Sometimes it gets through and sometimes it doesn’t. They [Lakers] anticipated better, got back on defense better and they talked better. Everything mentally was better tonight, and if we want to win and try to get into the playoffs, then this is what we have to do. It’s not very difficult.”
(On playing a back-to-back and going to Denver tomorrow)
“You don’t think about it. You have to go to Denver and play. We didn’t play a lot of minutes tonight. We do have 10 guys, and there should be no excuses.”
Lakers forward Pau Gasol
(On if he felt more like himself tonight)
“I felt better, definitely physically I felt a little better. I was able to put a better effort together. I was sharper and I’d like to shoot over 50% if I can throughout. It was a good overall game.”
(On what Jordan Hill brought to the lineup)
“You know with Jordan, he’s going to bring energy and effort. He’s going to be around the rim. Just by doing that he’s going to give himself a chance to get rebounds, put backs and easy layups when the defense collapses on other guys. That’s basically what he did tonight and did very effectively. Obviously when he does well teams will pay more attention to him, but he played great tonight. I look forward to seeing that effort again, and we’re going to need it every night.”
Lakers forward Jordan Hill
(On playing without Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant)
“With them out we need to bring more energy, we’ve got to fight a little harder and just keep playing at the pace that we did tonight and everything will be alright.”
(On starting tonight and leading all scorers and if that’s what he was looking for)
“It doesn’t matter [scoring]. I just want to go out there and have fun. Whether I’m a starter or I’m coming off the bench I’m going to still do what I always do. I’m going to bring the energy, rebound, defend and run the floor. I’m going to keep doing what I’ve always been doing.”
(On the difference for him and his approach to the game between starting and coming off the bench)
“It’s really no change. I just want to go out there and have fun and play the game and help my team out in any way possible. I want to continue to do what I do when do come off the bench and have fun with it.”
Lakers guard Jordan Farmar
(On the difference playing New Orleans Tonight, versus playing them Friday)
“I think our intensity and attention to detail on the defensive end started and picked up. It made it hard on them and we got easy baskets in transition and just rolled the momentum really. I thought we played decent in New Orleans but we let it slip away at the end. Tonight we were focused enough to carry it through the whole game.”
(On where the team’s balanced scoring attack is coming from)
“We’re just sharing it. We’re playing with each other and trying to get everybody involved. Guys are happy to be out there with each other. So let’s carry it over to tomorrow night. That’s the biggest thing. We played well one time but we have to carry it over to tomorrow.”
Lakers guard Nick Young
(On coming off the bench and his thought process entering the game)
“I’m just looking at the game and seeing what they’re doing out there. It’s about being prepared and having that mindset to be out there riling each other up on the bench, the bench mob, and being ready to go out there.”
Dunk of the Night - Xavier HenryXavier Henry rises up from just inside the free-throw line and throws it down over Jeff Withey.
Pelicans vs. LakersPau Gasol and Jodie Meeks combine for 29 points as the Lakers beat the Pelicans in southern California.
Postgame: Pau Gasol(11/12/13)
Postgame: Jordan Hill(11/12/13)
Postgame: Xavier Henry(11/12/13)
Xavier's Big SlamXavier Henry finishes with an amazing slam over Pelicans rookie Jeff Withey.
Blake to JohnsonWesley Johnson finishes with a powerful slam.
Pick and RollJordan Hill finishes with an impressive slam.
Farmar to YoungNick Young finishes with a nice layup.
Up and UnderPau Gasol sinks a tough shot during the first quarter.
Practice: Pau Gasol(11/11/13)
THE FACT: Lakers forward Jordan Hill moved into the starting lineup and made an immediate impact by scoring a career-high 21 points to go along with 11 rebounds.
THE LEAD: For one of the few times this season, the Lakers played like the Lakers of old and the Pelicans, well, they looked like the Hornets. L.A. pounced on New Orleans at the start of the second quarter and didn't let up, getting solid production from Hill and the bench while also limiting foul-plagued forward Anthony Davis in the 116-95 victory at Staples Center.
THE STAT: The Lakers shot a season-high 55.7 percent from the floor, 10 points higher than their previous best. QUOTABLE: "Maybe today they realized what it's going to take to win." -- Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni
TURNING POINT: The teams traded leads four times in the first quarter before the Lakers scored the first five points of the second to take a 27-19 lead. Little did the Pelicans know, the rout was on. L.A. went on to shoot 64.7 percent from the floor in the second frame as Hill poured in nine points to help the Lakers to a 33-20 halftime lead. The Pelicans didn't get near single digits the rest of the way.
HOT: The Lakers beat the Pelicans in just about every facet. They not only shot a much higher percentage, but they out-rebounded the visitors 53-31 and had 33 assists on 44 field goals. In addition to Hill, the Lakers benefited from strong bench play, led by 17 points from Nick Young and 15 from Xavier Henry. Jodie Meeks, thrust into the starting lineup after Steve Nash went down with nerve irritation in his back and hamstrings, added 15 points and Pau Gasol chipped in 14. Even the non-scorers had something to contribute as point guard Steve Blake distributed 10 assists.
NOT: Davis, who scored a career-high 32 points against the visiting Lakers last weekend, got off to a decent start, scoring six points in the opening quarter, but he committed his third foul with 5:46 left in the second and was done for the rest of the half. He returned after halftime only to be whistled for No. 4 with 9:48 left in the third quarter, forcing him out of the game again in favor of rookie Jeff Withey. Davis scored enough points with the game out of hand to finish with a respectable 15 on 6-for-11 shooting, but his absence during those long stretches seemed to take the flight out of the Pelicans. New Orleans didn't get much help from their starting guards either. Eric Gordon and Jrue Holiday combined to shoot 7-for-24 with five turnovers and eight assists.
GOOD MOVE: Thunderous dunks are usually reserved for the other Staples Center tenant, the Clippers, but Henry got into the action with a high-flying one-handed stuff while nearly leapfrogging the 7-foot Withey en route to the rim. If that wasn't harsh enough for Withey -- a former college teammate of Henry's at Kansas -- he also got smacked in the face by Henry's offhand as he hammered the ball through the hoop. D'Antoni deserves some credit for the performance, inserting Hill into the starting lineup over the less active Chris Kaman.
QUOTABLE II: "He's a good guy to lean on if you want a jolt of energy." -- Mike D'Antoni on Hill
BAD MOVE: New Orleans reserve forward Greg Stiemsma suffered a left knee injury when he was bumped while setting a screen with 2:47 left in the first half. Stiemsma was unable to put any weight on the leg as he was helped off the court. The team plans additional tests to determine the severity of the injury. His loss could come at a tough time as the Pelicans released reserve forwards Lance Thomas and Arinze Onuaka earlier in the day.
NOTABLE: Clippers coach Doc Rivers was in stands to watch son Austin play for the Pelicans. Rivers scored seven points in 15 minutes. Singer Steven Tyler was also sitting courtside ... New Orleans guard Tyreke Evans was a game-time decision after suffering a left ankle injury in Sunday's loss to the Suns, but he played 31 minutes off the bench, scoring 11 points and handing out a team-high six assists. ... The Pelicans signed guard Josh Childress and Lou Amundson earlier in the day. Childress was the only New Orleans player not to appear, while Amundson had three points and three rebounds in nine minutes.
UP NEXT: For the Lakers, Wednesday at Denver, Friday vs. Memphis, Sunday vs. Detroit. For the Pelicans, Wednesday at Utah, Saturday vs. Philadelphia, Wednesday vs. Utah.