EditorsNote: 2nd graf, add ‘23’ for Caruso’s points; tweaked 10th graf
JaVale McGee had 23 points and 16 rebounds as the visiting Los Angeles Lakers routed the New Orleans Pelicans 130-102 in a matchup of shorthanded teams Sunday night.
Former Pelican Rajon Rondo added 24 points and 12 assists, Alex Caruso came off the bench to score 23 points, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 19 points and Reggie Bullock 18 as the Lakers outscored the Pelicans 69-40 in the second half.
Los Angeles was playing its first game since announcing Saturday that LeBron James would not play again this season because of a groin injury. He was on the bench in street clothes as Los Angeles also played without Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Tyson Chandler.
Former Laker Julius Randle scored 17 to lead New Orleans, which lost for the 10th time in 12 games. Christian Wood added 15 points and 11 rebounds, Jahlil Okafor scored 15, Solomon Hill had 14 and Cheick Diallo had his ninth double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Pelicans All-Star forward Anthony Davis missed his third consecutive game because of lower back spasms, and coach Alvin Gentry said before the game that Davis will not play again this season unless he feels “great.”
New Orleans also played without Jrue Holiday, E’Twaun Moore, Darius Miller and Frank Jackson.
New Orleans led by one point at halftime, but Los Angeles dominated the third quarter.
The Lakers took the lead for good at 68-66 on a basket by Rondo.
The Pelicans got the margin back to two on three other occasions but a 13-4 run gave Los Angeles an 87-76 lead.
Caruso scored 10 points as the Lakers extended the lead to 105-84 by the end of the third quarter. Los Angeles outscored New Orleans 44-22 in the period.
Caldwell-Pope scored 11 points and Clark had nine as the first quarter ended with the score tied at 26.
The score was tied four times in the second quarter before Okafor’s basket with 10 seconds left gave New Orleans a 62-61 halftime lead.
—Field Level Media