Lakers falter in fourth with Kobe Bryant on bench, lose to Pelicans
The Lakers lost their sixth consecutive game, falling in New Orleans to the Pelicans, 96-80, on Wednesday night.
After three competitive quarters, the Lakers slumped early in the fourth while Kobe Bryant, under Coach Byron Scott’s 32-minute restriction, sat and watched the game slip away.
Bryant finished the third quarter with a sore right shoulder, icing it while on the bench. He returned to the court later in the fourth quarter. He scored 14 points and had six rebounds, two assists and four turnovers in 30 minutes but lef the court with a minute left and the Pelicans well out of the Lakers’ reach.
The best player in the game was New Orleans forward Anthony Davis, who scored 29 points on 11-of-18 shooting and had eight rebounds, four blocked shots and three steals.
Tyreke Evans scored 19 and Eric Gordon added 17 for the Pelicans. Quincy Pondexter contributed 12 points off the bench for New Orleans, which shot 45.8% from the field and 81% (17 of 21) from the free-throw line.
The Lakers got a double-double from Jordan Hill, who finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Wayne Ellington added 12 points off the bench for the Lakers, who shot 36.4% from the field and 85.7% (18 of 21) from the line.
Ronnie Price returned to the lineup after an elbow injury to score two points in 27 minutes. Jeremy Lin finished with seven points and four steals.
The Lakers turned the ball over 18 times while making six of 20 (30%) three-point attempts. The Pelicans had 15 miscues and made just three of 16 (18.8%) from behind the arc.
With the loss, the Lakers fall to 12-31. They’ll travel to San Antonio to play the Spurs (27-16) on Friday night. The Pelicans (21-21) will visit the Minnesota Timberwolves (7-34), also on Friday.
Pelicans 69, Lakers 68 (end of third quarter)
Jeremy Lin lost the ball in the final seconds, leading to a Quincy Pondexter layup and a one-point Pelicans lead after three quarters.
Anthony Davis helped put his team back on top and now has 22 points, five rebounds, three steals and three blocked shots. Tyreke Evans added 17 and Eric Gordon 13 for the Pelicans, who shot 45% from the field and 13 of 17 (76.5%) from the free-throw line.
The Lakers have been led by Jordan Hill with 13 points with 12 rebounds. Kobe Bryant has 12 points while Wayne Ellington has contributed 10 off the bench.
New Orleans has 15 turnovers to 14 for the Lakers, who shot 42.1% from the field and made 15 of 17 (88.2%) from the free-throw line.
Lakers 44, Pelicans 43 (halftime)
In a 24-second span, Kobe Bryant made a technical free throw (called on Ryan Anderson) and a jumper, followed by a Nick Young steal, layup and free throw. Just like that, the Lakers expanded a three-point lead to nine.
The Pelicans responded with a 10-2 run to close their deficit to a point to close the second quarter.
Tyreke Evans led all scorers with 11 points, while Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon added nine apiece for New Orleans, which shot 40.5% from the field but just two for 10 from three-point range.
Jeremy Lin had seven points, two assists and three steals off the bench for the Lakers. Young contributed six points.
The Lakers shot 40% from the field and had nine scorers, but none in double figures. Bryant has five points on two-of-five shooting.
Pelicans 22, Lakers 20 (end of first quarter)
Both Kobe Bryant and Ronnie Price returned to the court, but the Lakers finished the first quarter in New Orleans down by two points.
Bryant had two points, three rebounds and an assist in 10 1/2 minutes. Jordan Hill led the Lakers with five points and six rebounds, but the team shot only 33.3% from the field.
The Pelicans got six points from Tyreke Evans and five apiece from Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon, shooting 40.9% from the field as a team.
The Lakers made up for their five-for-15 shooting by converting nine of 11 free throws (81.8%). New Orleans made three of four from the line (75.0%).
The Lakers (12-30) come into New Orleans to face the Pelicans (20-21) on Wednesday night with a five-game losing streak.
The Pelicans expect to get Anthony Davis (toe) back against the Lakers, but Jrue Holiday (ankle) is questionable.
Kobe Bryant (rest) and Carlos Boozer (triceps) will play while Ronnie Price (elbow) is a game-time decision. The Lakers are also without Tarik Black (ankle), Julius Randle (knee) and Steve Nash (back).
For an in-depth breakdown, check out check out Preview: Lakers at Pelicans.
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