NBA Game Preview: New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Lakers

Feb 15, 2023

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Game: New Orleans Pelicans @ Los Angeles Lakers

Time: 10:00 p.m.

Odds: Pelicans +3.5, Lakers -3.5

Total: 234.5

The Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans will meet for the second time this season tonight. The first meeting of the season seemed to have changed the fortune of both teams. On February 4, the Pelicans defeated Los Angeles 131-126 at home to snap a 10-game losing streak. Former Laker Brandon Ingram led the way with 35 points. Since his comeback from a two-month hiatus because of a bruised big toe, that game continues to be Ingram’s highest-scoring contest of the season.

After that loss, the Lakers went back home to witness LeBron James break the NBA scoring record three days later. However, Los Angeles’ setback at New Orleans also marked the beginning of a stretch in which they have lost four out of five games, including a 127-115 loss at Portland on Monday.

The Pelicans’ six-game road losing streak ended on Monday with a 103-100 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. CJ McCollum missed the game due to a sprained right ankle, but Ingram scored 34 points on 14-of-24 shooting. McCollum is listed as questionable for tonight’s game.

As New Orleans appears prepared to once again rise up in the Western Conference standings, Thunder coach Mark Daigneault praised the Pelicans’ level of play, calling them more “physical” and “aware” than his own team.

The return of Ingram, who has averaged 25.1 points per game in the eight games since he returned to the court, has been the main driver of the offensive surge. For Ingram, tonight will be just another game on the road to success. The Pelicans ended a 10-game losing streak and have now won four of their last five games. New Orleans is 30-28 and in seventh place in the Western Conference standings and they have done most of it without star Zion Williamson, who is out indefinitely with a hamstring injury.

James’ left ankle injury has kept him out of the last three Lakers games. James averaged 33.9 points over his previous 17 games, moving closer to Kareem Abdul-all-time Jabbar’s scoring mark. On average this season, he is scoring 30.2 points per game.

Despite Anthony Davis’ 19 points and 20 rebounds in the Trail Blazers game, Damian Lillard’s 40 points were too much for the Lakers to handle. Portland had a 27-point advantage at one point in the game and made 23 3-pointers overall, including 17 in the opening period. In addition to Davis, Malik Beasley had 22 points, D’Angelo Russell 16, and Troy Brown Jr. 13.

Los Angeles may not have many opportunities to get into a rhythm. The Lakers are just two points ahead of the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets in the Western Conference’s 15-team standings, but they are still in striking distance of the final play-in tournament slot.

In addition to being 4-1 SU in their last five games, the Pelicans are 4-1 ATS. They are also 4-1 SU and ATS in the last five against the Lakers. Los Angeles is 1-4 SU in its last five games and 1-5 ATS in its last six.

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