Lakers vs. Pelicans: Assuming the Lakers continue to take fans on this roller coaster journey, the rest of the season will continue to be filled with uncertainty. They are the squad with offensive woes severe enough to start the season with a five-game losing run with improbable rim and the three-point shot misses.
They can also go on incredible scoring and defensive streaks that can completely turn a game around as they did on Sunday against the Denver Nuggets.
When the Lakers have games like Wednesdays against the New Orleans Pelicans, where they are both excellent and poor, efficient and lacking winning and losing it makes them even more baffling to analyse.
It’s all enough to make them baffling. Also quite exciting to see you on Wednesday.
The Lakers blew a huge lead in the third quarter and were on the verge of suffering their sixth loss of the season before a fantastic out-of-bounds play, a big jumper and sheer might in overtime lifted them to a thrilling 120-117 victory at Crypto.com Arena.
Matt Ryan, who joined the Lakers as the team’s 15th player with a nonguaranteed contract, scored the biggest shot of his early professional career when at the buzzer of regulation time, he flared to the corner and received cross-court inbounds pass from Austin Reaves to sink a tying three-pointer.
The Lakers were led in scoring by Lonnie Walker IV (28 points), followed by LeBron James (20 points) and Davis (20 points) and finished with a bench score of 13 points, seven rebounds and nine assists from Russell Westbrook.
Lakers vs. Pelicans: Ryan scored 11 points in Wednseday Match
The Lakers had created a 16-point lead by playing well and then squandered it by playing poorly. It was only because New Orleans left a small opening that the Lakers had a chance to pull off the upset.
With time running out, the Lakers had a chance to tie the game, but rookie Dyson Daniels (chosen by New Orleans with one of the choices the Lakers traded them for Davis) missed two free throws, giving the Pelicans the victory.
Darvin Ham called a timeout inserted Ryan and devised a play that would eventually send the game into overtime.
Darvin Ham has stated that defence and transition would be the defining characteristics of this Lakers team and that style was on full display as the first half came to a close, leaving the Pelicans in disbelief.
The Lakers went on a 17-2 run to turn a three-point deficit into a double-digit advantage in under three minutes, giving hope that the squad may have turned a corner early in the season.
It, like the run spearheaded by Russell Westbrook and the Lakers’ bench on Sunday, featured the same kind of on-court celebrating that the most confident NBA teams season their triumphs, a feeling the Lakers desperately needed after suffering five consecutive losses to start the year.
You’re there in the action and every play whether it’s a block, steal, rebound or defensive stop is crucial. They have the right to a good pass and a good finish, Ham remarked before the game. They really slogged it out. They should go out there and play the game with all their heart and enthusiasm.
In the third and fourth quarters though the Pelicans countered Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis‘ contributions and made the game extremely close.
The Lakers kept proving on defence that their athleticism and dedication could make up for some of their offensive shortcomings.
In other words, “we’re starting to find stuff,” Davis added.
The team’s distinguishing characteristic has been its inability to make three-pointers, so they were able to overcome James’s less-than-stellar performance and Westbrook’s relatively quiet second half.
The Lakers battled through a dry spell of slow lethargic offence by stealing enough possessions in the final minutes of the game with offensive rebounds off of missed free throws and winning enough 50-50 situations.
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