June 15, 2024

A day removed from a poignant Kobe Bryant bronze statue unveiling ceremony, an inactive NBA trade deadline, and a disappointing loss to the best team in the league, your Los Angeles Lakers bounced back in a big way against the visiting New Orleans Pelicans, beating them 139-122 at home.

 

With the win, ninth-seeded Los Angeles, a team with two All-Stars, improves to a 28-26 overall record, while sixth-seeded New Orleans, a team with zero All-Stars, falls to a still-better 30-22 record.

Buoyed by a red-hot D’Angelo Russell, the Lakers submitted their most prolific opening half of the year, and their second-highest-scoring half in team history (the high is still an 89-point Showtime Lakers outburst against the Phoenix Suns on January 2nd, 1987). LA outscored New Orleans 87-74 in the first two frames.

Russell’s 21 first-half points led the charge, but all five LA starters (this was Darvin Ham’s D-Lo/Austin Reaves/LeBron James/Rui Hachimura/Anthony Davis lineup) notched double digits against a disengaged Pellies D.

At the break, the Lakers as a team had posted a bonkers (and unsustainable) .674/.550/.857 slash line.

 

Things took a bit of a turn the third frame. A 12-2 Pelicans scoring run early on, propelled by frontcourt stalwarts Zion Williamson and Jonas Valanciunas, got New Orleans within two possessions. New Orleans eventually got within three points of Los Angeles midway through the quarter, 99-96, before Russell got hot again

 

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