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LeBron James and the Lakers beat Pelicans in play-in, earn a playoff rematch with the Nuggets



LeBron James and the Lakers beat Pelicans in play-in, earn a playoff rematch with the Nuggets
Google News Recentlyheard

Google News Recentlyheard

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — LeBron James, Anthony Davis and their supporting solid have the Los Angeles Lakers trying like a harder out within the playoffs than they gave the impression to be just some weeks earlier.

The New Orleans Pelicans, in the meantime, discover themselves getting ready to elimination and questioning about the well being of star energy ahead Zion Williamson, whose dominant NBA postseason debut was lower quick by an harm within the remaining minutes of a decent sport.

James had 23 factors, 9 assists and 9 rebounds, and the Lakers secured a playoff berth with a 110-106 victory over the Pelicans within the Western Convention play-in match on Tuesday night time.

“Tonight we showcased what we had been in a position to do each offensively and defensively,” mentioned James, whose staff enters the playoffs having gained 12 of 15 video games. “We’ve bought a very good group going proper now, good rotation, good plan and guys are coming in able to go.”

Williamson had 40 factors and 11 rebounds. However shortly after tying the sport at 95 on a driving layup with 3:19 to go, Williamson went to the locker room, throwing a towel to the ground in disgust as he walked into the tunnel with an obvious harm.

After the sport, Pelicans coach Willie Inexperienced mentioned Williamson had “left leg soreness.”

“He’s going to have some imaging on it tomorrow and we’ll work out extra,” Inexperienced mentioned.

Quickly after Williamson went out, James hit a jumper, Davis dunked Austin Reaves’ alley-oop lob, DeAngelo Russell hit a 3 and Davis grabbed a vital offensive rebound, after which he hit two free throws to assist the Lakers maintain on.

The Pelicans “threw some heavy blows at us,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham mentioned. “They stored swinging. We stored preventing again.

“It revealed lots about us and what we’re manufactured from,” he added.

Davis completed with 20 factors and 15 rebounds. Russell scored 21, hitting 5 instances from deep. James was 10 of 10 on free throws and Davis 8 of 10.

The Lakers advance to face defending champion Denver within the first spherical in a rematch of final season’s Western Convention finals, a sweep by the Nuggets. Sport 1 is Saturday night time.

The Pelicans will host Sacramento on Friday, with the winner incomes the No. 8 seed within the West. The Kings eradicated Golden State within the later play-in sport on Wednesday night time.

“Clearly a tricky loss for us,” mentioned Inexperienced, whose staff may have secured the sixth seed within the playoffs on Sunday however misplaced at house to the Lakers, 124-108, establishing the rematch within the play-in. “We’ve bought to really feel this one tonight and regroup and prepare for an additional one.”

Williamson, Inexperienced mentioned, was “improbable.”

“He settled into the sport. He simply continued to assault. He discovered seams. He rebounded the ball. He performed quick,” Inexperienced continued. “(If) we now have him for a number of extra minutes, perhaps we now have an opportunity to drag this factor out.”

The Lakers went 14 of 35 from 3-point vary. The Pelicans hit 9 of 29 from deep and Williamson didn’t get loads of assist from the Pelicans’ traditional excessive scorers. Brandon Ingram — in his second sport again from a 12-game absence due to a knee harm — missed 8 of 12 pictures and completed with 11 factors after spending the ultimate couple of minutes on the bench.

“I identical to the group that was on the ground at the moment,” Inexperienced mentioned. “BI remains to be getting again, he’s nonetheless discovering his rhythm. So, I didn’t wish to pressure the difficulty.”

CJ McCollum missed 11 of 15 pictures and scored 9 factors.

Trey Murphy III scored 12, hitting two 3s from past 28 toes within the second half to assist New Orleans come again from an 18-point second-half deficit to tie it.

The Lakers led 75-57 after Rui Hachimura’s layup within the third quarter. However New Orleans bought again within the sport by outscoring Los Angeles 19-8 throughout the remaining 5:31 of the interval.

Williamson sparked the surge with a pair of layups. Murphy pulled up for a 31-foot 3-pointer within the remaining minute of the quarter and Williamson’s free throw made it 83-76 on the finish of the interval.

The Pelicans lastly tied it when Williamson slammed down Jose Alvarado’s alley-oop lob in transition to make it 93-all with 3:53 to go.

Trying to redeem themselves for a lackluster loss to the Lakers on Sunday, the Pelicans put collectively a promising opening quarter and took a 34-28 lead on Herb Jones’ 3.

Los Angeles surged into the lead by outscoring New Orleans 34-16 within the second quarter, main by as many as 14 after James, who had 15 first-half factors, hit two free throws to make it 58-44.

Within the remaining seconds of the half, Williamson sprinted almost the size of the courtroom on the dribble for a floating layup on the horn that made it 60-50.