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Friday, November 8, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Pelicans 96, Lakers 85

By Dave McMenamin



NEW ORLEANS -- Another night, another inconsistent performance from the Jekyll & Hyde-like Los Angeles Lakers.

After they broke through with their gutsy first road win of the season in Houston on Thursday, the Lakers' seesaw came crashing down in New Orleans on Friday.

They might not have lost by 25, as was their average margin of defeat in their first two losses away from Staples Center, but the fourth quarter sure felt like it.

L.A. trailed by three headed into the final frame. The team walked away with an 11-point loss.

Win one. Lose two. Win one. Lose one. Win one. Lose one. That's been the story of the first two weeks of the season for these up-and-down Lakers.

How it happened: Steve Blake's 3-pointer made it a two-point game halfway through the fourth quarter, but Anthony Davis stole the momentum back for the home team with a pair of highlight dunks to put the Pelicans back up 80-74. It snowballed from there, with Davis (32 points, 12 rebounds) taking over on both ends of the floor and the Lakers seemingly turning it over or missing a shot on alternating possessions the rest of the game.

What it means: Having a deep rotation is great when the ball is moving and everyone is sharing it and feeding off the energy that's being created, but some nights -- especially on a back-to-back -- you have to have some guarantees to lean on, and L.A. didn't know who or what to go to when things got tough against New Orleans.

Hits: Chris Kaman kept up his strong play in the starting lineup, scoring a season-high 16 points on 7-for-13 shooting. But he curiously spent the entire fourth quarter on the bench.

Nick Young also kept up his solid scoring, putting in 13 points on 5-for-11 shooting from the field.

Blake had 13 points and eight assists.

Misses: The Lakers' bench, which had outscored the starters in each of the first two games on the road trip, managed just 23 points as a collective.

Blake had five turnovers.

Pau Gasol had another bad shooting night, going 3-for-12 from the field.

Jordan Hill had 13 rebounds in 23 minutes, but went 0-for-6 from the foul line.

Stat of the game: The Lakers shot just 31-for-80 (38.8 percent). Their offense just wasn't there.

Up next: The Lakers will have a day off Saturday and get back to business with a week full of winnable games -- home against Minnesota on Sunday, home against New Orleans on Tuesday, on the road in Denver on Wednesday on the second night of a back-to-back in that altitude (a tough one), and home against a struggling Memphis team on Friday.