Lakers continue to struggle, while Le Bron James is close to breaking a historical record
On the verge of breaking the all-time scoring record set by Lakers’ legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the only thing on LeBron James’ mind is to help his team in every way to get a win. Saturday night reflected his concern is to help the Lakers climb in the standings when James’ hustled to chase down every loose ball, including diving into the stands to save one. LeBron James stated, “I just want to win. You know, you play the game the right way and see what happens.” The Los Angeles Lakers came into the night winning the last two games (Knicks and Pacers). New Orleans Pelicans presented a difficult challenge for the Lakers as Brandon Ingram has averaged 21.2 points per game since his return to the lineup.
Los Angeles starting the game set the tone early by scoring 72 points in the first half. The Pelicans were held to 61 points. The summary of the game came down to free throws made. Although there were several factors that led to the loss for the Lakers, shooting 75.8% from the free throw line resulted in 8 missed free throws that were crucial down the stretch. The Lakers only turned the ball over 9 times, but ultimately allowed 60 points in the paint with the Pelicans taking advantage of their free throws shooting 90% from the line.
The Lakers were also outrebounded 48-44. The Pelicans continued to close the gap with a 42-point outburst in the third quarter. Ball security and shot selection resulted in the Lakers not being able to secure another lead late in the 4th quarter. Pelicans led late and made sure they took advantage of their free throws to get the victory 131-126. LeBron James ended the game with 27 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Anthony Davis ended with 34 points and 14 points; Russell Westbrook had 15 points but shot 6 for 11 from the field. La went on to lose 131-126.
All eyes will be on the Tuesday night matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Los Angeles. LeBron will need 36 points from breaking the NBA all-time career scoring title. The Pelicans host the Sacramento Kings on a back-to-back on Sunday evening.