Video Credit: NBA

New FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Pelicans- Game 74

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (31-43) | New Orleans Pelicans (32-43)

 

After going up by 20 at halftime, the Lakers lost their rhythm leading to a 116-108 loss to the Pelicans.

 

Lakers vs Pelicans
Photo Credit: Gerald Herbert/AP

It was a strange game for the Lakers last night, with one of the biggest momentum shifts seen all year.  Anthony Davis continues to be sidelined, but the Lakers had no excuse in this one.

Lebron James got things started dominantly, leading a 12-0 run in the early minutes.  He scored 10 of the 12, including two threes, before C.J. McCollum could finally get one on the board for New Orleans.  The Pelicans were 0-6 from the field to start until Brandon Ingram, and McCollum brought it back to 3 in the middle of the quarter.

Los Angeles brought high energy all quarter, finding a way to pull ahead again.  James scoring 11 points in the first set the tone, but one final 11-7 run led by Westbrook and Malik Monk sent the Lakers into the second up 8.  Shooting about 60 percent in the quarter was precisely how they wanted to introduce themselves. The defense looked to stay consistent on Ingram.

The second quarter would leave New Orleans dead silent, with the Lakers up to 67 percent from the field by halftime. D.J. Augustin would hit two threes to start a 13-0 run to give the Lake Show a double-digit lead.  McCollum was only 3-7 in the half, a big reason the Pelicans began to trail by so much.

James would establish the lead even more after Jonus Valanciunas completed an and-1 on the other side.  The hall of Famer hit two straight threes from a significant distance, reaching 37,000 points in his career.  Many career marks have come in losses this season for James, but being up nearly 20 was more cause for celebration at that point.  Westbrook ended the half with a three of his own, going 5-7 in the first two quarters.

The lead was well established for the Lakers, with 25 points coming from James. This was beginning to be a potentially historical performance for Laker Nation. The only player to show up in the half for New Orleans was former Laker Ingram, but his 10 points were nowhere near enough.  It was one of the better halves all season for Los Angeles; only record poor play could stop them in the second half.

The Lakers owned the first half last night, leading the Pelicans by 20 at 69-49 by the break.

 

Lakers vs Pelicans
Photo Credit: Gerald Herbert/AP

Unfortunately, the momentum switched entirely in the third quarter, with the Pelicans outscoring the Lakers by 16 points.  The Lakers were up significantly to start, with Westbrook and James adding to the lead before it turned around.  Ingram then led a 19-5 run consisting of two clutch threes from Trey Murphy III.  The Pelicans had trimmed the deficit down to 4, mainly due to 7 turnovers by the Lakers.

The offense may have been in rhythm all first half, but things changed completely.  Nine critical points in the quarter from Ingram woke New Orleans up in front of their home crowd, allowing them to outscore LA 41-25 before the fourth.

Murphy III got it all tied up to start the fourth, coming off the bench with 21 points.  As he tied it with a three, seven lead changes would follow for both sides.  Ingram then hit two from the line, and a jumper on the follow to get up by 4 with 5 minutes to play.  The Lakers had just 14 points in the quarter, losing any sense of rhythm in crunch time once again.  With the Pelicans behind them in the standings, this turnaround was shockingly embarrassing last night.

Malik Monk brought it within 4 in the final minutes, but the shift in offensive performance for New Orleans was just too much by the finish line.  The Lakers expected to be leaving with the win but dropping to 48 percent from the field flipped the script.  New Orleans put the finishing touches on the game, and another avoidable loss was in the books for the Lakers.

 

The Lakers head to Dallas Tuesday to face the Mavericks. The game can be seen at 4:30 p.m. on TNT.  

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Duncan Dye – Franchise Sports Media

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