NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram each scored 26 points and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the…
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram each scored 26 points and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the road-weary Los Angeles Lakers 129-109 on Sunday night.
Los Angeles was coming off a 108-106 loss at Minnesota on Saturday night, while New Orleans was off two days after beating Utah at home Thursday night.
LeBron James scored a 34 points and former Pelican Anthony Davis added 20 points and 10 rebounds, but they didn’t get enough help as the Lakers lost for the seventh time in nine games.
CJ McCollum added 22 points for the Pelicans, who led by 19 points and responded to each comeback bid with the help of 50% 3-point shooting (17 of 34) as a team and crafty 6-foot guard Jose “Grand Theft” Alvarado’s four steals and and two blocks.
The meeting was the first since the Lakers dismantled New Orleans 133-89 in the In-Season Tournament semifinal in Las Vegas on Dec. 7. And the Pelicans had the look of a team seeking redemption in front of a packed and festive New Year’s Eve crowd.
It was the fourth time this season that New Orleans’ “Big Three” — Williamson, Ingram and McCollum — each scored 20 or more in one game. The Pelicans are 4-0 in such games.
Larry Nance Jr. had 11 points and 10 rebounds in just his second game back from a rib injury. Herb Jones and Jonas Valanciunas each scored 13 points.
The Lakers went into the game without forward Cam Reddish (adductor) and D’Angelo Russell (back), while the Pelicans were without one of their top 3-point shooters in Trey Murphy III (left knee). All were day-to-day.
Then Lakers forward Rui Hachimura left the game in the first half with a left calf strain.
Despite missing Murphy, New Orleans was on from deep. McCollum made five early 3s and finished with six. Jones made three 3s from the right corner in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, Alvarado delighted the crowd by picking the pockets of both James and Davis during the second quarter, when New Orleans led by as many as 19 points.
James had 21 of his points in the first half, but didn’t get a lot of help from anyone other than Davis, who had 13 in the opening 24 minutes.
The Pelicans hit 10 of 17 3s in the first two periods, and took a 74-57 halftime lead after Ingram’s block of Max Christie’s shot ignited a fast break finished by Nance’s layup.
Lakers: Host Miami on Wednesday night to begin a five-game homestand.
Pelicans: Host Brooklyn on Tuesday night to conclude a five-game homestand.
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