Lakers News: Los Angeles Collapses Down Stretch, Falls To Pelicans 131-126
Pelicans end 10-game losing skid.
Tonight in Smoothie King Center, your Los Angeles Lakers lost an absolutely pivotal game against one of their direct competitors in the race for the Western Conference play-in tournament, the New Orleans Pelicans. LA coughed up a 12-point second half advantage over the Pelicans.
New Orleans power forward Brandon Ingram, who was shipped to the Pelicans as part of the Anthony Davis trade, had his best game yet since returning from a two-month layoff, scoring 35 points against the team that drafted him, including the ultimate dagger.
Everything was coming up Milhouse for Los Angeles in the game’s first half. Immortal All-Star power forward LeBron James looked like his athletic self, scoring 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting and pulling down five boards. He threw down this slam at one point, just in case you were wondering if he was showing any signs of aging:
Anthony Davis led LA with 18 points at halftime on 8-of-12 shooting. Reserve point guard Russell Westbrook poured in 12 of his own. Surprisingly, the Lakers had a fairly robust three-point shooting start to their night, nailing 40% of their treys, a big advantage over the Pelicans’ 15%.
Los Angeles led by double digits, 72-61, at the break, thanks in large part to an active 40-point second quarter.
Things fell apart in the second half, however.
New Orleans’s active wing defense helped the Pelicans rally from a 12-point second half deficit to reclaim the lead in the fourth quarter.
Reserve LA small forward Troy Brown hit two huge triples in the fourth to help the Lakers tie things up at 116-116.
Ham finished with a lineup comprising four of his five starters, with Troy Brown Jr. playing in the stead of Hachimura (beyond the absence of Hachimura, that also meant Russell Westbrook would again be mercifully sidelined). In so doing, he ceded a ton of size to New Orleans, especially by sticking Beverley on Ingram.
The Lakers’ transition defense looked shoddy all night.
Patrick Beverley scored his first field goal of the night with just under two minutes left in regulation, a slick circus take that got LA within four, 127-123.
Ingram responded with a huge jumper.
The Pelicans played keepaway in the next possession. New Orleans subsequently botched the ensuing possession.
James is now just 36 points away from surpassing fellow Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time regular season scoring record of 38,387 points.