Carmelo Anthony celebrates
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE

A Melo Monday Ends in Lakers Win

by Matthew Barrero

Following back-to-back losses to Oklahoma City and Portland, the Lakers (6-5) returned to their winning ways Monday night, following a hard fought 126-123 overtime victory over the Charlotte Hornets (5-6).

Los Angeles is now 2-0 in overtime this season (the other win coming in San Antonio on Oct. 26).

Carmelo Anthony stayed hot on home-court once again, to the joy of Lakers Nation, finishing 7-of-10 from beyond the arc for 29 points (matching his career high in points scored coming off the bench).

Melo is now shooting 38-of-59 from three-point land at STAPLES Center, good for 64.4%, and is tied for third in the NBA with Portland’s CJ McCollum in three-pointers made (39).

“I’m just taking advantage,” Carmelo said postgame. “I’m not thinking about it. I’m just playing ball, catching and shooting and executing. It’s something I always work on. I feel good. I feel I’m in a good rhythm. I’m just taking advantage of what’s out there offensively and my teammates believing in me.”

Russell Westbrook earned his second triple-double of the season with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 14 assists. Anthony Davis secured his sixth double-double with 32 points and 12 rebounds and added three steals and five blocks (one on Terry Rozier’s three-point attempt with 6 seconds left in OT).

Los Angeles took a one-point lead into halftime as both teams recorded almost identical first half stats.

Charlotte opened the second half on a 12-3 run but per the game standards, the Lakers roared back to retake the lead on a 10-0 run of their own late in the third.

With about four minutes left in the fourth quarter, it appeared that the Lakers stripped the ball out of LaMelo Ball’s hands, but the referees called a foul. Frank Vogel wanted to challenge the call but unfortunately was not granted the timeout as the referees had indicated that LaMelo was already handed the ball for free throws, nullifying the opportunity to challenge.

A sequence of three technical fouls were called on the Lakers as Ball was given five, free throws and promptly cut the L.A. lead down to four.

“[The ref] blew his whistle for some reason and the other ref called a delay of game,” Vogel said. “I don’t know why they called a delay of game, which was a free throw and then two quick techs as a result. A five-point swing when you got a big lead late in the game is tough to overcome but give our guys credit for figuring it out and pulling out the win.”

Westbrook and Carmelo each received a technical foul in the sequence and while Melo explained it was passion and just a lot of yelling, Westbrook informed the media that the ref screamed at him and Westbrook told him not to treat him like a child.

Los Angeles tried to pull away, but a Miles Bridges three-pointer tied the game at 115 with 23 seconds left. Davis would miss a potential game-winning three on the other end, sending the contest into overtime.

The Hornets would hold a four-point lead early in overtime, but Davis and company would respond rapidly. With 2:00 left, Carmelo hit his seventh, three-pointer of the night to give the Lakers a one-point lead.

Following a Davis five-footer and two free throws converted, Charlotte had a chance to force the game into double overtime, but a missed Cody Martin three-point attempt sealed the win for Los Angeles.

For Charlotte, LaMelo Ball captured his first triple-double of the campaign scoring 25 points to go with 15 rebounds, and 11 assists and Rozier led all Hornets with 29 points.

On Wednesday, the Lakers will welcome Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat (7-3) for the second of five at home. Miami is coming off a 113-96 loss in Denver earlier tonight.

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