The Los Angeles Lakers made changes to their starting lineup ahead of Sunday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans. None of those changes had any notable impact, however, as the Lakers lost big 104-87 in front of their home fans for the ninth time in 11 home games.
Ed Davis and Ronnie Price were added to the starting lineup in place of Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer to help rectify a horrendous start to the season that saw the Lakers lose 15 times in their first 20 games.
Both Price and Davis played well, but neither had an eye-opening performance, and the minor adjustments only served as a band-aid on a broken leg. Davis did manage to avoid foul trouble, which was a major concern entering the game, and Price was an improvement defensively. However, the Lakers lost, and the game was largely not competitive.
In fact, the Lakers' crowd began to jeer loudly multiple times late in the game.
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"It ain't fun getting booed," Lakers guard Nick Young said after the game. "It was well deserved. We were playing like crap out there."
As much as the Lakers rank last in defense, the Lakers' offense looked depressingly poor on Sunday night. The team started out the game shooting 25 percent in the first quarter and barely crept over 33 percent for the first half. By the time the game ended, the Lakers were up to 40 percent shooting, but defenses tend to let down when a team is up by 20 points.
That was not a hyperbolic statement. The Pelicans led by 20 points after three quarters at Staples Center, and that lead would grow to 24 points before the final buzzer. The hodgepodge of lineups did not make much of any difference on its first viewing, as the lack of shot making doomed the home team from the start.
Young and Kobe Bryant combined for nine made shots on 31 shot attempts. The Lakers' two most dynamic scorers finished with 27 points combined. Entering the night, Bryant was contributing an average of 26 points per game on his own.
The Lakers did not entirely lose the game on their own, obviously. Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday both had great nights for the Pelicans. Davis finished with 23 points on 11-15 shooting, and Holiday finished with 22 points and eight assists. The Pelicans may not be a bad team, but the Lakers made them look a whole lot better than they really were.
For a weekend that started with a painfully one-sided loss to the Boston Celtics, the 17-point home loss to the Pelicans may have actually felt worse.