Cole Swider #21 of Los Angeles Lakers shoots the ball
Cole Swider #21 of Los Angeles Lakers shoots the ball during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2022 Las Vegas Summer League on July 15, 2022 (Zach Beeker)

Lakers Play Spoiler in Win Over Pelicans

On the second to last night of Summer League play, the Lakers picked up the 102-94 win over the Pelicans Friday night in Las Vegas.

New Orleans had plenty to play for as a win over Los Angeles by five or more points in tonight’s contest would have pushed the Pels into Sunday’s championship game against the New York Knicks.

The Lakers showed off some impressive athleticism early in the game after Max Christie knocked down an elegant fadeaway three with the shot clock running down.

The Lakers led by three late in the frame, but the Pelicans would flip the script and close the quarter on a 16-5 run and take an eight-point lead into the second.

L.A. quickly erased the deficit with a 9-1 run in the second and tied the game at 28. The Lakers were raining triples from all areas of the court throughout the night but especially in the second frame, where they went 6-of-8 and outscored the Pelicans 33-17 and took an eight-point lead into halftime.

But it was to no avail as the Lake Show picked up the eight-point victory.

The two teams matched each other shot-for-shot in the third quarter, but the Lakers increased their lead to double digits (11) as they headed into the final 10 minutes.

New Orleans came out swinging and cut the deficit to single digits early in the quarter as the Pelicans looked to mount the comeback and push themselves into Sunday’s championship game. For the Lakers, a letdown in the second of their last three games (led by 15 vs Charlotte on Sunday and lost) was not in the cards tonight.

The young squad knocked down some big shots including clutch free throws from Javante McCoy with about a minute left in the game and never allowed the Pelicans to get any closer than eight points.

Cole Swider had the hot hand for majority of the night as the young forward led all scorers with 21 points on 8-of-15 from the field (5-of-11 on threes), added six rebounds, and at one point scored 11-straight points by his lonesome.

On top of his late free throws (finished 5-of-6 from the line) to seal the win, Javante McCoy finished with 14 points, seven assists, and four rebounds. Additionally, Max Christie hit 50.0 percent from the field for 12 points and added four rebounds, and Scotty Pippen Jr. was a full-team player in 22 minutes and scored 11 points to go along with seven assists, three rebounds, three steals and a block.

Jay Huff made his return after missing the last four games (health and safety protocols) and came off the bench to score 10 points and grab four boards.

The Lakers drained 17-of-36 (46.3%) from beyond the arc, the most in their six Summer League games. With their win, the team improved to 2-2 in Las Vegas and 4-3 overall. They’ll play one more time tomorrow night to close out the Summer League when they face the Dallas Mavericks.