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  • Eric Martinez

Lakers stay in playoff race, defeating the Pelicans 123-108

The Los Angeles Lakers have been playing consistent basketball for the past 10 games. More importantly, the team has been gelling from a defensive standpoint. The beginning of the playoffs is quickly approaching in April and Lakers are hoping that LeBron James can be healthy for a playoff run, if Los Angeles qualifies. Tuesday evening started a quick 2-game road back-to-back starting in New Orleans followed by a game against the Houston Rockets.

The Lakers came out with a scoring mentality. At one point in the first quarter, LA had a 14-0 lead and felt that tonight’s game was vital in positioning and holding a contending seed in the Western Conference. Lakers held a 39 to 24 lead at the end of the first quarter, and it was apparent that coach, Darvin Ham, wanted to run all plays through Anthony Davis. The plan was working, as Anthony Davis seemed to dominate inside of the paint and forced New Orleans to double team that translated to open three-point attempts from the Lakers. Malik Beasley benefitted from the attempts as he matched a Lakers’ record for three-point completions in a half (7) tying the legend, Kobe Bryant. The first half was all about the pace and play of D’Angelo Russell as well. His stellar play has been consistent since being acquired from the Timberwolves.

D’Lo ended with 17 points and 5 rebounds, but the presence and leadership is what teammates are raving about thus far. “Everybody did. We were playing the right way, playing great defensively and sharing the ball offensively, playing together and we were clicking on all cylinders,” Anthony Davis spoke about his teammates on how it felt to be in that groove this evening. Davis scored 35 points, 17 rebounds in 33 minutes. Coach Ham knew how important it was to play through AD, but also noticed it helped his teammates to build off of his offensive dominance, “Anthony Davis put it on himself to spearhead what you saw today, but everyone was locked in. Everyone was ready to make a contribution.”

Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Pelicans 123 to 108 and had five Lakers score in double figures (Davis 35 points, D’Angelo Russell 17 points, Malik Beasley 24 points, Rui Hachimura 12 points, Austin Reaves 14 points).

Lakers head to Houston tonight, off of a back-to-back to face a Rockets’ team that just defeated the Boston Celtics on Monday night and are playing confidently in spite of what their record shows. Anthony Davis will not play on Wednesday night, as the Lakers’ will need the entire rotation to fill in for him and stick to the defensive plan that the coaches have set. The Lakers hold the 10th seed in the Western Conference and look to climb in the next coming weeks. New Orleans Pelicans drop to the 12th seed and have now lost 4 of 7 games in March. Pelicans will travel to Houston on Friday to face the Rockets.

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