Pelicans spit the bit in most important game of year, lose to Lakers
It was a basketball game but if it were a horse race, the New Orleans Pelicans basically spit the bit and did so virtually from the time they broke out of the starting gate.
The Pelicans entered Tuesday night locked in a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference for ninth place.
At home in a pick-it game, New Orleans was even favored by a point in most sportsbook locations.
The Pelicans exited Tuesday night a game back of the Lakers and a play-in spot after getting tamed at Smoothie King Center, 123-108.
It was never close and the outcome was never in doubt as the Lakers dominated from start to finish. The final score, in no way, indicated how one-sided the game was.
The Pelicans trailed 39-24 after one quarter, allowing 14 unanswered points to the Lakers and the game was all but over at halftime as Los Angeles had a whopping 75-40 lead as Los Angeles made 15 shots from 3-point range. The 75 points allowed were the most allowed in any half this season by New Orleans. The Pelicans were defenseless.
New Orleans trailed by as many as 40 points. That, in itself, is ridiculous.
Yes, New Orleans played with maximum energy in the fourth quarter but that was way too little, way too late.
Anthony Davis stuck it to his former team with 35 points and 17 rebounds.
The Lakers owned the boards by a 52-41 margin and Los Angeles outscored New Orleans 54-33 from 3-point range.
For lack of a better description, it was an embarrassing performance in the half by New Orleans and there was no excuse, given the magnitude of the game.
How you can play so poorly with so much to play for is baffling.
This is on the coaches and the players. It was a total failure on every level from a team that looked unprepared and unfocused from the jump.
Brandon Ingram returned and led New Orleans with 22 points while Herb Jones and Trey Murphy III each had 20 points.
It is back to the drawing board and Willie Green had better erase, cleanse, even bleach the board after what we saw Tuesday night. This was a team lacking maturity and lacking a competitive spirit.
The Lakers recognized the magnitude of the task at hand and met it head on, leaving the Pelicans way, way behind.
With 13 games remaining in the regular season, the Pelicans head to Houston to play back-to-back games with the lowly Rockets with the first matchup set for Friday night. New Orleans is now out of the top 10, now 11th overall in the Western Conference.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…