Davis, Pelicans pound Lakers
NEW ORLEANS -- Keeping track of Anthony Davis’ double-doubles is getting more complicated.
The NBA’s leading scorer recorded his 11th double-double of the season -- finishing with 41 points and 16 rebounds -- as the New Orleans Pelicans ended a two-game losing streak with their fifth consecutive home victory, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 105-88 Tuesday night in the Smoothie King Center.
Davis had a double-double featuring at least 20 points and 10 rebounds for a fourth consecutive game. It was the seventh time this season that Davis finished with at least 35 points and 10 rebounds in a game.
“He can score in a lot of areas,” Lakers forward Julius Randle said of Davis. “Tonight his teammates did a great job of knocking down shots when we tried to pack the paint and get to him. Just trying to force him to take tough shots is the best way to try to stop him.”
The Pelicans (7-12) took the lead for good 62 seconds into the game. New Orleans, which hasn’t lost at home since a 126-99 drubbing against the Lakers on Nov. 12, will host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.
“The defensive performances the last few games at home have been very, very good,” Pelicans forward Terrence Jones said. “To hold a team that beat us the last time to (38 points) less than the last time we saw them, just to lock in and make sure everybody stays mentally focused on getting stops like we did tonight is always going to make the game easier.”
Los Angeles (9-10), already playing without point guard D‘Angelo Russell (knee), lost shooting guard Nick Young to a strained right Achilles just 1:50 into the game.
The Lakers announced that Young would undergo an MRI on Wednesday in Chicago, where Los Angeles plays the Bulls that evening.
“It’s good to get a game tomorrow again to get our focus somewhere else,” Los Angeles coach Luke Walton said. “I expect a better effort.”
Walton said it would be tough to lose Young, who was carried to the locker room by teammates, for an extended period.
“Filling in the shooting guard while D‘Angelo is already hurt, we’ll have to get creative,” Walton said.
Omer Asik supported Davis with his first double-double of the season, finishing with 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Jrue Holiday scored 22 points.
Lou Williams led the Lakers with 16 points off the bench. Randle scored 12 and pulled down 10 rebounds, and Timofey Mozgov added 10 points and nine rebounds.
The Pelicans led 65-41 at halftime and maintained a lead of 20-plus points for most of the third quarter.
However, the Lakers chipped away with a series of dunks as Randle made one, Mozgov made two in a row and Larry Nance Jr. made one to cut the lead to 80-63.
Davis ended the run with a driving basket, then followed with a 3-pointer, and New Orleans had an 89-63 lead after three quarters.
“I thought we started the game the right way, and I thought we played with energy,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “We had the ball movement that I thought we needed in the first half.”
Langston Galloway made two 3-pointers and scored eight points as the Pelicans extended the lead to 57-32 midway through the second quarter.
Holiday’s jumper concluded the first-half scoring and gave New Orleans a 65-41 halftime lead. It was the fewest first-half points scored by Los Angeles this season.
“The first half we shot ourselves in the foot; we gave them 60 points,” Randle said. “In the second half, we played well defensively, we just missed a lot of open shots that we usually make.”
NOTES: New Orleans G Jrue Holiday made his first start after coming off the bench for his first six games this season. He missed the first 12 games to be with his wife, who gave birth and underwent brain surgery. ... F Julius Randle returned to the Lakers’ lineup after a three-game absence caused by a hip pointer. ... The Pelicans recently signed former Lakers G Anthony Brown, a second-year player whom Los Angeles released Oct. 24. “It was a very hard decision to make,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “I felt for what we needed as a team, we needed more veteran leadership (in Nick Young and Metta World Peace).” Brown scored seven points Tuesday. ... New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said the team misses the 3-point shooting of F Dante Cunningham, who is expected to miss a month due to a broken leg. Cunningham’s .410 3-point percentage leads a team tied for the fifth-worst percentage in the NBA (.329).