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10 Things to Know: Lakers at Pelicans (11/29/16)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers tip off their road trip by visiting the New Orleans Pelicans.
1) The Lakers’ much-heralded second unit was firing once again in their last game — a 109-94 victory over Atlanta on Sunday. Lou Williams led the way with a team-high 21 points, while Jordan Clarkson chipped in 18. Meanwhile, Larry Nance Jr. was vital on both sides of the ball, tallying his first double-double of the year with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
HIGHLIGHTS: Lakers defeat the Hawks, 109-94, after a dominant second half and double-double from Larry Nance Jr. pic.twitter.com/f5cPp1uYQm— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) November 28, 2016
2) Another key character in the Lakers’ win was Nick Young, who scored 17 points after missing the previous game to a sprained toe. Young has been one of the NBA’s top shooters so far, hitting the third-best free throw percentage (94.1) and ninth-most 3-pointers per game (2.7).
3) The Lakers last visited New Orleans just 17 days ago and outscored the Pelicans by 28 in the second half alone to come away with a 126-99 victory. Clarkson, Williams and D’Angelo Russell each scored more than 20 points in that game, as Los Angeles shot 55.3 percent from the field and made 16 3-pointers.
4) On the other side, Anthony Davis dropped 34 points for the Pelicans in that game, as he continues to compile an MVP-caliber season. Offensively, he has been the NBA’s top scorer with 31.6 points per game, thanks to a repertoire that begins out of pick-and-rolls and extends to just about everything else, including 3-pointers. Defensively, he also leads the league in blocks (2.82) and is holding opponents to a 7.8 percent worse field goal percentage when guarded by him, which is the best difference in the NBA.
5) Davis has been otherworldly in his last three games, scoring more than 30 points with a double-double in each. Over this stretch, he is averaging 37.3 points, 12.0 rebounds and 10.0 made free throws while hitting 59.1 percent from the field.
6) The Pelicans started the year a dreadful 0-8 but have brought their record up to 6-12 thanks in part to the return of Jrue Holiday. The UCLA product missed the first 12 games of the year while attending to his wife, Lauren, who had brain surgery on a tumor. Holiday led all bench players in scoring (17.0) and assists (6.4) last year and hasn’t missed a step so far, averaging 16.3 and 6.5, respectively.
7) That consistency can’t be said for sixth-overall pick Buddy Hield, who continues to struggle and is last in the NBA in 3-point percentage (24.0; 18-of-75). The Bahamas native has failed to score double figures in eight straight games, averaging just 3.9 points in this span while shooting 29.7 percent from the field and 5-of-20 on triples.
8) For those wondering what happened to Anthony Brown after being cut by the Lakers at the end of training camp, the 2015 34th overall pick has landed in New Orleans. Initially, he was the top selection of the 2016 D-League Draft and dominated for the Erie BayHawks, averaging 29.3 points in three games before being called up to the Pelicans, with whom he has shot just 2-of-7 so far.
9) Despite Davis averaging the NBA’s seventh-most rebounds (11.0), the Pelicans have been extremely susceptible in this area. They have the worst rebounding differential in the league (-5.0) mainly due to their NBA-low 7.4 offensive boards per game.
10) This is the Lakers’ last game in New Orleans of the season, but they still hope to send some players back to the Big Easy in mid-February. All-Star Weekend will be held in New Orleans this year, and the young Lakers are sure to have some representatives at the Rising Stars Challenge and perhaps some more competitions.
Lakers: D’Angelo Russell (sore left knee) is out. Julius Randle (hip pointer) is questionable. Ivica Zubac is on D-League assignment.
Pelicans: Tyreke Evans (right knee), Quincy Pondexter (left knee) and Dante Cunningham (right fibula fracture) are out.
Tip-off: 5 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 KWKW
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