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Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram scored 26 points apiece to lead six double-figures scorers and the host New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 129-109 on Sunday night (Monday, January 1, Manila time).
Ingram added eight assists, three steals and two blocked shots, and CJ McCollum collected 22 points and nine assists. Jonas Valanciunas and Herbert Jones had 13 points each, with Valanciunas chipping in eight boards, and Larry Nance Jr. had 11 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
LeBron James, completing a back-to-back the day after his 39th birthday, scored a game-high 34 points with eight assists.
Anthony Davis added 20 points and 10 rebounds, Austin Reaves scored 20 points and Taurean Prince had 15 points for the Lakers, who lost for the eighth time in 11 games since winning the in-season tournament.
The Lakers scored the first five points of the third quarter and James added a 3-pointer and another jumper to pull them within 78-67.
Los Angeles got within 11 points three more times in the quarter before Jose Alvarado and Dyson Daniels each made a 3-pointer as New Orleans held a 104-89 lead at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Lakers again crept within 11 points before Ingram made a jumper and a 3-pointer to increase the lead to 115-99.
Los Angeles got within 12 points with 3:40 remaining, but the Pelicans scored the next 10 points to regain command.
In the first quarter, McCollum scored 15 points on five 3-pointers and added four assists as the Pelicans, who lost to the Lakers 133-89 in the in-season tournament semifinals on Dec. 7 in Las Vegas, raced to a 42-33 lead.
Williamson scored six points and New Orleans expanded the lead to 16 points early in the second quarter.
James converted a three-point play and made consecutive 3-pointers as Los Angeles closed within nine points.
The Pelicans increased the lead to as much as 19 points before finishing the half with a 74-57 lead. – Rappler.com