There was elevated energy in the arena tonight before the Lakers even took the floor. And when Anthony Davis’ (23 pts, 12 reb, 6 ast) name was announced, after not being in the starting lineup for about a month and a half, the crowd erupted. But the team couldn’t source a win for the home crowd in this close game against the Pelicans where they fell 114-110.
The last time the Lakers played the Pelicans, the team relinquished a 23-point lead. The loss was troublesome for a variety of reasons, one being that the Pelicans were competing with the Lake Show for a spot in the Play-in tournament. Currently, the Lakers sit in 11th place in the Western Conference, New Orleans is in 9th.
There was no big lead blown tonight. There was hardly any lead at all with both teams never creating a margin greater than six. That’s not to say, LeBron James (38 pts, 8 reb) didn’t fire away. He did. LBJ was steady shooting all night, he had 21 points in the third quarter alone. But the King also had six turnovers. And the Lakers' defense did not bode well.
There were no answers for CJ McCollum (32 pts, 7 reb) or Brandon Ingram (29 pts, 8 reb, 7 ast). The Pelicans only made seven three-pointers, four coming from McCollum, none from Ingram. It was their combined jumpers that were lethal for the Lakers though.
And even though Los Angeles had the lead with five minutes to go in the game, they couldn’t hold on. They scored just seven points to New Orleans’ 15 in the final few minutes. “They just made more plays than us,” Coach Frank Vogel expressed in the postgame press conference.
The Lakers are back on Sunday to face the Nuggets for an afternoon game in DTLA.