Pelicans Plaster Lakers 113-92, Sweep Season Series


New Orleans (40-34) had six players score in double digits on their way to a 113-92 rout of Los Angeles. For the first time in franchise history, the Pelicans swept the season series against the Lakers (20-54).

It is nice to see everyone on the floor making an impact on the scoreboard. And speaking of being on the floor: Ryan Anderson is back! After missing 18 straight games with a knee injury, the Pelicans forward returned to action Wednesday night against the Lakers.

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He missed his first attempt, but drove hard to the rim and finished with a dunk to get himself on the board early in the second quarter.

Apr 1, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson (33) shoots the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. The Pelicans defeated the Pelicans 113-92. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

He hit 2 three point attempts in the final minute of the first half to help extend the Pels lead to 10. It is great to finally see “The Flamethrower” back on the court.

Ryno’s return was helped by the Los Angeles Lakers team, which ranks near the bottom of the league in both defense and wins.

If they want any chance to win games they would have to be as red hot as they were in the first quarter tonight, where they scored 31 points.

The lax defense of the Pels tightened up for the rest of the game though, and the lead was pushed to double digits for the rest of the night.

Anthony Davis led the team with 20 points on a solid 9-15 from the floor. More interesting was the 6 assists dished out by the Brow tonight, marking the sixth time he has done so in the past 9 games.

With Anderson and Holiday looking to ease back into the lineup, the increased passing ability of Davis will surely make that transition easier.

Norris Cole was hot all night, shooting 8-12 from the floor and finishing with 17 points to his name.

He is sinking the corner three, and has made great strides in cutting to the basket off the ball. The analytics say that these shots are the most efficient in basketball, so having guys that excel in those areas cannot hurt.

Cole was not the only guard with a notable performance off the bench. Toney Douglas, who was recently signed for the remainder of the season, put on a show on the defensive end.

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His tenacity when guarding his man causes chaos in the sets of opponents, forcing them to make uncomfortable plays.

He only scored 2 points, but as long as he can fluster his matchup for a few minutes a night, his presence will be welcome on this playoff hopeful roster.

Apr 1, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Norris Cole (30) is defended by Los Angeles Lakers guard Wayne Ellington (2) at Staples Center. The Pelicans defeated the Pelicans 113-92. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans shot 9-16 from beyond the arc tonight, with four players hitting at least 2 shots: Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Anderson and Quincy Pondexter. Evans and Q-Pon in particular have been red hot as of late from three.

Evans has hit 9 of his last 15 attempts, while Pondexter continues to build on his 49% mark from the month of March. The way these guys are shooting the ball from deep especially with Ryno stepping back into the lineup, they should has no trouble getting points on the board.

The win tonight puts the Pelicans 1 1/2 games behind the Thunder for the eighth seed after OKC fell to the Dallas Mavericks earlier in the night.

Both teams have a tough stretch to finish out the season, so as long as New Orleans can do what they have to do, they should be in control of their own fate.

The next step for New Orleans comes on Friday against Boogie Cousins and the Sacramento Kings.

Next: How the Pelicans Became the NBA's Island of Misfit Toys