While it is probably almost at the endgame for the Los Angeles Lakers, the New Orleans Pelicans, on the other hand, are on the rise. The Pelicans are starting to strive since bringing in CJ McCollum approximately three weeks ago from the Portland Trail Blazers. In their last 10 games, they have won six.
Meanwhile, in the most recent game, New Orleans faced the Lakers which end in a horrible night for Frank Vogel’s men and they were showered with constant boos from the crowds. It seems like what is good for the Pelicans now is contrary to what the Lakers are experiencing.
Brandon Ingram on Pelicans blowing out the Lakers: "It's always fun coming back to the place you got drafted and getting a win. But in this fashion when you got real love for your teammates and everybody is out there scoring, playing and having fun, it's a little extra special."
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) February 28, 2022
The Lakers were booed on Monday night’s game against the Pelican which ends in a 28-point difference of 95-123 at Crypto Arena. Not to mention, Lakers star player, LeBron James, had an argument with a fan who got a little too far on the comments of the losing game.
With Anthony Davis still recovering from an ankle injury, the four-time NBA champion still has Malik Monk, Talen Horton-Tucker, Russell Westbrook, and Dwight Howard.
Apparently, their best performance was not enough to defend themselves from the Pelican’s attack. Additionally, Lakers owner, Jeanie Buss, was also there to watch but only until the third quarter right after fans booed the team.
Evidently, fans were not the only ones disappointed by their home team. Sunday’s defeat dragged the Lakers to 27-33, losing five of their past six games.
Russell Westbrook agreed that the team could have done better.
“I think each play we get down on ourselves too much and just not playing as hard as we can,” said Russell Westbrook, who finished the night with 16 points, one assist, and seven turnovers.
With new teams and new rosters coming Lakers’ way, Russell believed that it is time to play harder. Meanwhile, Dwight Howard shares his positive thoughts from the game.
“It’s real easy to give up, throw in the towel and say negative things,” Dwight Howard said. “So, I’m really at a loss for words. But we got to stay positive. We can’t sulk in defeat, and we can’t quit on each other. I know it’s been a very rough season.”
CJ McCollum on ESPN TV postgame interview: "I'm enjoying my time in New Orleans, happy to be there. They accepted me with open arms. The food is tremendous, the people are great. We're putting together a winning culture with Willie (Green). I'm excited about the future."
— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer) February 28, 2022
The Lakers seem to be unable to slow down New Orleans’ starting trio, Brandon Ingram, Jonas Valanciunas, and CJ McCollum.
The Pelicans have been climbing the wall. They not only defeated the Lakers but also pulled through the Portland Trail Blazers with a 111-97 victory. New Orleans GM David Griffin might be someone to thank for this since he decided to get McCollum at the trade deadline.
“A great way to start (coming out of the All-Star break) is to get these two wins,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said.
During the game, all the Pelicans five starter players scored double figures. Led by McCollum, the 30-year old scored 22 points, making him have six straight 20-point games and averaging 28 points per game.
Meanwhile, Ingram and Valanciunas score the same 19 points for the game.
“It’s always fun when everybody’s involved on the offensive and defensive end,” Ingram said. “We were just out there having fun, laughing, and playing the game the right way. Everybody contributed in a big way tonight.”
Now, the Pelicans must prepare for Wednesday’s game against the Sacramento Kings while the Lakers are facing the Dallas Mavericks tonight.