Pelicans beat Los Angeles 128-111 doing a lot of paint damage. Former Lakers Ingram and Hart each shine in their own way in victory.
The Pelicans are not the best rival for a Lakers without LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Marc Gasol. Eliminated these three players who can defend firmly near the rim, the Lakers defense became a real sneak in the paint.
Pelicans dominated the game at will, a game in which the Lakers only held their rival’s competitive pace in the first quarter. From the second on, a reality check for the Lakers: life is going to be complicated during an unpredictable time, as unpredictable at the moment is the deadline for the return of its two great stars.
Brandon Ingram, hyper-motivated by his former team, and Zion Williamson, indefensible to any of the Lakers now healthy players, did excruciating damage to the fragile visiting defense.
Ingram added 36 points (his best mark of the course) and 4 assists, with 14 of 21 in the field goal and 4 triples. Fine from mid-range shooting. Partidazo yours.
Zion, meanwhile, raised the ball in many moments of the game and defined it with ease near the rim, achieving 27 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 9 of 13 on the pitch. Williamson becomes the youngest player to play 21 consecutive games scoring 20 or more points.
Of course, the two local stars were not alone. Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 18 points and 7 rebounds, Kira Lewis Jr. went to 16 points and 6 rebounds in 20 minutes, the young Jaxson Hayes contributed 15 points and 5 rebounds in 19 minutes, with 7 of 7 in free practice, and the former Lakers Josh Hart only had 2 points with 1 of 9 on the pitch, but he played basketball with 15 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals.
The one who couldn’t play was Lonzo Ball, another former Lakers. The transfer rumors point to his person. He watched the game from the side due to injury.
Many local players contributed to an incontestable victory forged in the offense near the rim. The Pelicans had 40 first-half points from the paint and finished the game 62-32 on shots in that range compared to the Lakers.
To that 62-32 in the paint, we must add the dominance of Pelicans on the rebound, a double circumstance that left the very good night since the Lakers tripled to nothing.
Those of Frank Vogel could hardly answer the dominance exercised by the rival from the second quarter. The 18 points of Montrezl Harrell were of no use, which is one of the few players that is working in the last days, more in attack than in defense, the 16 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 triples of a willful Kyle Kuzma, the 16 points from Markieff Morris or 14 from a reborn Wes Matthews, hit from the triple.
He did not give Dennis Schröder the step forward I had to give, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope I still missing in action, and he started Devontae Cacok! The latter, to rub his eyes.
The locals put the direction in the second quarter. The takeoff began with 8 consecutive points from Hayes ( Willy Hernangómez did not even jump to the runway) and continued with Brandon Ingram’s success, until the Pelicans were 17 up (50-33). It was the first red flag for the Lakers, who weathered the storm as best they could to go into halftime, losing 59-46.
That red flag was repeated, and with much greater intensity, in the third quarter, when Zion and especially Ingram began to draw blood. Mate with additional for Hayes and a concatenation of triples by New Orleans, 4 for a 14-0 run in the blink of an eye, a set that brought the score to a tremendous 96-66. Lakers, 30 points downplaying the third quarter! Tragedy was chewed up.
The third period ended 102-76, and the fourth was of little use. It served, at least, so that Lakers knew how to dignify the bulky defeat a bit, so that Stan Van Gundy gave a whole course of excess zeal (regarding the score, not the physique of his players) keeping his stars on the track when the game was decided and for a nonsensical revision to be requested in the last minute of the game. Inexplicable. The NBA wanted shorter games, and they are getting longer.
The game serves for Pelicans to take a breath and leaves the Lakers with fear in their bodies for what may come, waiting, of course, for what Rob Pelinka can do in the next 48 hours.