Video Credit: NBA

FSM Recap: Lakers vs Pelicans – Game 82 – 2023

Los Angeles Lakers (47-35) | New Orleans Pelicans (49-33)


It was the Lakers vs the Pelicans from the Smoothie King Center on Sunday afternoon. LeBron James’ triple-double lifted the Los Angeles Lakers over the New Orleans Pelicans, 124-108.


Lakers vs Pelicans | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 124-108, finishing the regular season 47-35, and are the eighth seed in the Western Conference. They finished the season, winning 11 of their final 14 games. 

LeBron James was the primary catalyst in this one, totaling 28 points (11-of-20 FGs, 0-of-2 3s, 6-of-6 FTs), 11 rebounds, a season-high 17 assists, and five steals. James’ triple-double was his fifth of the season.

I just want to win,” said James, who served as a primary defender on Pelicans star forward Zion Williamson. “I am a Swiss army knife. I’ve got to do it all on the floor, but none of it is predetermined.”

James became the first player in NBA History with 40,000 points, 11,000 rebounds, and 11,000 assists. James also became the oldest player with at least 15 points, 15 assists, and five steals, last done by John Stockton at age 35. 


Stats for the Lake Show:


Anthony Davis did his part, finishing with 30 points (13-of-17 FGs, 4-of-4 FTs), 11 rebounds, and two steals.

Davis, however, asked out of the game in the final minutes and walked back to the locker room holding his lower back, saying his back “locked up” when he was shoved from behind while in the air.

There’s no doubt that I’m going to play” in Tuesday’s play-in game, Davis said. “Get some massages, get some treatment, just keep it loose. Just see how I feel over the next 36 hours and be ready.”

Austin Reaves had 20 points (8-of-12 FGs, 3-of-7 3s). Reaves played all 82 games this season for the Lakers after competing for Team USA in August and through the Western Conference Finals last year.

D’Angelo Russell chipped in 19 points (6-of-13 FGs, 5-of-10 3s) and four assists.


For the Pelicans:


Williamson had a tough time getting anything going, putting up just 12 points (4-of-13 FGs, 4-of-5 FTs) and four turnovers, but made up for it with eight rebounds, eight assists, and two steals.

He’s a beast. It’s almost impossible to stop him,” James said of Williamson. “So, just try to keep a body on him and just try to make it tough on him.”

CJ McCollum came to play, leading the squad with 25 points (9-of-19 FGs, 4-of-9 3s), four rebounds, and seven assists.

Herbert Jones had 18 points (6-of-13 FGs, 4-of-7 3s), five rebounds, and two steals.

They punched us right in the mouth, and they kept going,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “We let a really good opportunity slip away.”


Lakers vs Pelicans First Quarter:


Lakers vs Pelicans | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Gerald Herbert/AP

The Lakers opened the game 5-for-5 from the floor to take a quick 11-4 lead over the Pelicans with 9:03 left in the first quarter. Rui Hachimura and Davis combined for nine points.

James stood up to Williamson on defense and had seven assists already while organizing Los Angeles’ offense. The Lakers led 21-15 with 3:43 left in the first quarter. They shot 62.5 percent (10-of-16).

In his return, Brandon Ingram hit 4-of-5 FGs, including a buzzer-beating 3 to close the first quarter, getting New Orleans within four at 28-24. James had eight assists, one assist off his season-high for a quarter.


Lakers vs Pelicans Second Quarter:


Lakers vs Pelicans | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Gerald Herbert/AP

A James-led 11-2 run to start the second had Los Angeles up 41-26. James only had four points thus far but dominated the game, already with ten assists.

It was also a considerable bench contribution from Taurean Prince early, defending well and up to nine points on 3-of-3 FGs.

The Lakers were up 20 after a 7-0 run featuring a Reaves 3, Reaves dunk, and a Hachimura dunk made it 53-33 with 5:38 left in the second quarter. They outscored New Orleans 25-9 in the quarter.

James was up to 13 assists in the first half as he continued to pick New Orleans apart. That was also his career-high for assists in a half.

Hachimura killed the Pelicans with baseline cuts, which the Lakers progressively worked into their offense for him over the last couple of months.

Los Angeles took a 70-53 lead into the half, shooting 60.8 percent overall and scoring 50 points in the paint.


Lakers vs Pelicans Third Quarter:


Lakers vs Pelicans | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Gerald Herbert/AP

Reaves drilled a step-back 3 to start the third for the Lakers, as he’s now 6-for-8 towards 14 points in his 16 minutes. The Lakers used that momentum to explode into a 13-4 run, pushing the margin to 83-57.

However, consecutive turnovers from the Lakers led to Pelicans points, as Darvin Ham called time out at the 5:59 mark of the third. Los Angeles’ lead dwindled to 91-65 after that 6-0 New Orleans run.

From there, the Lakers’ foot came off the gas pedal a bit as it bled into a 9-0 Pelicans run, with Davis picking up his third and fourth fouls.

Spencer Dinwiddie quelled New Orleans’ surge, scoring five straight points to maintain Los Angeles’ cushion at 99-74 late in the third.

The Lakers blitzed their way out of the third-period gates to push their lead to as many as 32 before New Orleans trimmed 10 points off it in the final six minutes to cut it to 99-77 into the final quarter. Los Angeles outscored New Orleans in all three quarters.


Lakers vs Pelicans Fourth Quarter:


The Pelicans, however, did outscore the Lakers 31-25 in the final period, but the match was already decided.

The Phoenix Suns defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 125-106, which means the Lakers will stay to play New Orleans once again.


The Los Angeles Lakers will rematch the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday, April 16th, at 4:30 pm PST. Thank you for visiting for your Las Vegas Sports news.


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