NBA regular season

Lakers clinch No. 8 seed in West, set up play-in rematch with Pelicans


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Lakers clinch No. 8 seed in West, set up play-in rematch with Pelicans

DRIVE. Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) dribbles against New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) during the second half at Smoothie King Center.

Stephen Lew/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

LeBron James and Anthony Davis show the way as the Lakers end the regular season on a high note with a rout of the Pelicans

LeBron James had a triple-double, Anthony Davis had a double-double, and the visiting Los Angeles Lakers dominated the New Orleans Pelicans, 124-108, in the regular-season finale Sunday, April 14 (Monday, April 14, Manila time).

James finished with 28 points, 17 assists, and 11 rebounds, while Davis had 30 points and 11 rebounds as the Lakers (47-35) clinched the No. 8 seed and set up a rematch with the seventh-seeded Pelicans (49-33) in a play-in game Tuesday night in New Orleans.

Austin Reaves added 20 points, D’Angelo Russell scored 19, and Rui Hachimura had 11 for Los Angeles.

CJ McCollum scored 25 points to lead New Orleans. Herbert Jones added 18, while Larry Nance Jr. and Brandon Ingram, returning from a 12-game absence due to a hyper-extended knee, scored 13 each.

Zion Williamson had 12, Trey Murphy III 11, and Jose Alvarado 10 for New Orleans, which saw its four-game winning streak end. The Pelicans fell from No. 6 in the West and into the play-in because Phoenix defeated Minnesota, 125-106, and won the tiebreaker with the Pelicans for No. 6.

Los Angeles never trailed in the game, leading by as many as 23 points in the first half and outscoring New Orleans 68-42 in points in the paint for the game. The Lakers won the season series 3-1 as the visiting team prevailed for the first time.

Reaves made one three-pointer and Russell added two to start Los Angeles’ third-quarter scoring and help the Lakers expand their lead to 85-57.

Davis scored 8 of his 14 first-quarter points as the Lakers opened a 17-7 lead. Ingram scored the Pelicans’ final 9 points as they trimmed the lead to 30-24 at the end of the period.

Taurean Prince and James each made a pair of layups and Los Angeles increased the lead to 15 points early in the second quarter. New Orleans got within 12 before Reeves scored 5 points, James had a three-point play and an assist, and the Lakers matched their biggest lead of the half, 60-37.

Nance scored 7 points, making one of four three-pointers in the final 3:39 of the half that helped the Pelicans creep within 70-53 at halftime. –

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