The New Orleans Pelicans (3-4) visit the Lakers (3-5) on Tuesday night at Staples Center, just a few days after the Pelicans pulled away late for a 96-85 victory on Friday in New Orleans.
Second-year forward/center Anthony Davis finished with a career high of 32 points with 12 rebounds and six blocked shots.
Steve Nash, who sat out Friday, will miss at least two weeks with back issues. Steve Blake and Jodie Meeks are expected to be the Lakers’ starting backcourt on Tuesday.
Pau Gasol, Chris Kaman, Jordan Hill, Wesley Johnson, Shawne Williams ... someone needs to slow down Davis.
In an impressive, early second season, Davis is averaging 21.7 points and 11.6 rebounds a game.
The Lakers can’t let him dominate like he did on Friday.
Equally, the Lakers need more from Gasol, who scored just nine points against the Pelicans shooting 3-12 from the field.
Jrue Holiday scored just 13 points on 5-for-15 shooting last week against the Lakers but he dished 13 assists while collecting four steals. He played almost 40 minutes and while Davis was the obvious killer, Holiday was quietly a vital part of the Pelicans’ victory.
With Nash out, Blake will need to take over as the team’s primary point guard -- which isn’t a change given Nash sat out on Friday.
Against the Pelicans, Blake scored 13 points with eight assists but also turned the ball over five times.
Ultimately turnovers (and Davis) doomed the Lakers. Blake, with Jordan Farmar behind him, will have to take care of the ball against the athletic Pelicans’ roster.
The Lakers looked terrible against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday, giving up 47 points in the first quarter.
Even with the loss of Nash, the Lakers are capable but need to play extremely well to win games.
The Pelicans are young and talented, but somewhat vulnerable on the road.
The Lakers have a challenging week but Tuesday against New Orleans is a real opportunity to make up for Sunday’s poor showing.