The Los Angeles Lakers are on the verge of their longest losing streak of the season, and their last three matchups with the New Orleans Pelicans have been defensive disasters.
They could be in for another one with Anthony Davis back on the floor Wednesday night when the last-place teams meet in New Orleans.
Davis is expected to return after missing the final three games on a five-game trip with a sprained left toe. The Pelicans (20-21) went 2-3 with bad losses to Boston, Philadelphia and New York separated by wins over Detroit and Toronto.
Monday’s 99-92 defeat to the Knicks dropped the Pelicans to 1-3 without Davis. Ryan Anderson went 4 for 17 against New York and has shot 23.1 percent while starting in Davis’ place, though he’ll now likely return to his more comfortable role on the bench.
Tyreke Evans had a team-high 23 points a game after scoring 26, while Omer Asik added 11 and 17 rebounds.
New Orleans’ 13 assists were one more than its season low, and the club has averaged 16.3 in the last three games for an even assist-to-turnover ratio and minus-6.6 turnover differential.
"It’s always disappointing. We know what we’re capable of as a team," said guard Eric Gordon, who had 20 points. "We didn’t have that many assists tonight, like 13 or so. The ball wasn’t moving as much as it should. We definitely wanted this game after what we did (Sunday’s 95-93 win in Toronto)."
Though Davis is ready to go, it doesn’t look like the Pelicans will be getting their point guard back just yet. Jrue Holiday, who’s missed four straight games with a swollen right ankle, says his chances of playing against Los Angeles are ”slim” after he rested during Wednesday morning’s shootaround.
The Lakers (12-30) have had even more problems hanging onto the ball lately with 44 turnovers in the last two games. Monday’s 115-100 defeat to Phoenix gave them a four-game road skid, tying a season high.
"Turnovers," coach Byron Scott said. "We had eight at halftime and we finished with 23. You’re not going to win a whole lot of games with 23 turnovers."
Nick Young had 24 points one game after scoring 23 in Friday’s 94-85 loss in Utah. His shot has come around, as he’s made 52.4 percent in those games after hitting 25.0 percent in his previous seven.
Kobe Bryant sat out for the eighth time in 15 games, but he’ll play Wednesday after feeling good following the Lakers’ shootaround.
"Kobe’s good, he said he’s ready to go," Scott told the team’s official Twitter feed.
Point guard Ronnie Price is questionable after missing the last two games with an elbow injury. Power forward Carlos Boozer is dealing with a left triceps contusion but is probable.
Reserve center Tarik Black is expected to miss the game after suffering an ankle injury against the Suns.
The Pelicans have won three straight over the Lakers for the first time in franchise history while averaging 115.0 points and shooting 55.4 percent and 42.6 percent from 3-point range.
Davis has averaged 25.3 points, 11.0 rebounds and 70.2 percent shooting in those contests. Bryant scored 33 points and was 5 of 11 from beyond the arc in a 109-102 defeat at New Orleans on Nov. 12, but went 6 for 18 from the field – 0 for 5 on 3s – and finished with 14 points in a 104-87 home loss to the Pelicans on Dec. 7.