3/1 @ Pelicans

James, McGee Lead Lakers as They Sweep the Pelicans

by Rodrigo Azurmendi
Staff Writer

LeBron James and these Lakers just keep coming at you.

The King offered yet another otherworldly performance, guiding the short-handed Lakers to the win Sunday night and a sweep of the Pelicans in New Orleans.

It was truly a remarkable showing for James, who put the team on his back in the absence of Anthony Davis and made sure the purple and gold remained undefeated in the second night of back-to-backs this season.

Tongue out kind of night, you know?

That shot made it a 2-possesion game after Lonzo Ball had tied it up with 4:29 to go in regulation, effectively putting away a pesky New Orleans team.

James notched the 94th triple-double of his career with a 34-point, 12-rebound, 13-assist stat line in 36 minutes.

He did it all, from fueling the offense – clinical on the post and accurate from beyond the arc – to grabbing a key steal against Zion Williamson in the fourth when the Pelicans rookie seemed unstoppable.

“Just trying to be patient, understanding that every possession tonight was going to be very critical and just trying to get the best shot possible,” James said.

Williamson finished with a career-high 35 points, but the Lakers proved why veteran-laden teams usually have the upper hand in close games.

JaVale McGee tipped the scales with sensational defense all night long. He finished with six blocks and was key in jump-starting some lethal fast breaks:

“No layups,” McGee said. “That’s the Lake Show way.”

It was a true battle, a game that was tied 18 times and had 17 lead changes. One where the Lakers prevailed despite a massive free throw disparity (33 for the Pelicans, 10 for L.A.) and a huge deficit on the boards (52-30 for New Orleans).

But this team is nothing if not resilient, withstanding wave after wave of the Pelicans in transition and even beating them at their own game with a 33-22 edge in fast break points.

Six members of Frank Vogel’s 9-man rotation scored in double digits, with Avery Bradley, Danny Green, and Markieff Morris hitting 2 threes apiece.

“Throughout the whole game we just had to be composed, understanding that they were going to make a run, and just continue to execute, continue to defend,” James added.

In the words of the King, they delivered.

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