Matt Ryan’s shot forces OT as Lakers rally to beat Pelicans

If this is the ride the Lakers are going to take people on this season, the destination will undoubtedly remain murky.

They are indeed the team with offensive struggles bad enough to open the season on a five-game losing streak, the misses on the edge and the three-point line are almost unimaginable.

They’re also capable of putting together runs of incredibly good basketball, with their defense feeding their offense and feeding their defense — a high-speed demolition machine that can turn a game around in the blink of an eye, just like they did against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday .

But what makes the Lakers even harder to figure out are nights like Wednesday versus the New Orleans Pelicans, where they’ve been all of the above — good and bad, efficient and lacking, winning and losing.

All of this makes them confusing. And, at least on Wednesday, incredibly entertaining.

The Lakers coughed up a huge lead in the third quarter and were just seconds away from their sixth loss of the season, but brilliant out-of-bounds play, a big throw and overtime shear propelled them to a wild 120-117 -Victory at Crypto .com Arena.

Matt Ryan, who made the Lakers the team’s 15thth Player with a non-guaranteed contract flared for the corner and caught a cross-court inbound pass from Austin Reaves to sink a three-pointer on the regular buzzer – easily the biggest shot of his young pro career.

“It’s a great play call,” said Anthony Davis. “…Matt did what he does.”

Lonnie Walker IV led the Lakers with 28 points, LeBron James and Davis had 20 each, and Russell Westbrook had 13 points, seven rebounds and nine assists off the bench.

Ryan, Wednesday’s hero, scored 11.

It came after the Lakers built a 16-point lead by being at their best and coughed it up by being closer to their worst.

The Lakers only had a chance to win after New Orleans left the door ajar.

After the Lakers missed a chance at a tie in the final seconds, rookie Dyson Daniels (whom New Orleans picked with one of the picks the Lakers traded for Davis) missed two free throws to give the Lakers one last chance.

After a time out, Darvin Ham brought Ryan in and drafted a game that would eventually force overtime.

Lakers' Matt Ryan makes a 3-point shot to send the game into overtime while New Orleans Pelicans' Trey Murphy III defends.

Lakers forward Matt Ryan (37) shoots and makes a 3-point shot to send the game into overtime while New Orleans Pelicans guard Trey Murphy III hits the second Wednesday at the Arena defended at halftime.

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

A scorching end to the first half, marked by defense and transition, a style Darvin Ham would like to define his Lakers, left the Pelicans stunned.

In less than three minutes, the Lakers turned a three-point deficit into a double-digit lead by capitalizing on a 17-2 run that, coupled with the way the team played Sunday, made it appear as though the team might have left early. season corner.

It was, like Sunday’s run led by Russell Westbrook and the Lakers bench, the same kind of on-court celebrations that the most confident NBA teams use to celebrate their accomplishments, a mood the Lakers experienced in their five straight losses sorely missed the year.

“The game, you’re in the middle of the game and every play is an important play, whether it’s a block, a steal or a rebound, a defensive stop. A good pass, a good finish – they have the right,” Ham said before the game. “You put a lot of work into it. You have the right to go out and play enthusiastically and enjoy the game.”

But for everything Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis added during that stretch, the Pelicans erased in the third and fourth quarters, forcing the Lakers into a possession game where margins got incredibly tight.

Defensively, the Lakers continued to show that their athleticism and dedication would overcome many of their offensive problems.

“We’re starting to find things,” Davis said.

The team missed all manner of three-pointers in a formative trait, surviving a less than ideal night from James and a quiet second half from Westbrook.

But the Lakers struggled through enough late-game possession, stealing additional possessions by snagging offensive rebounds from missed free throws and winning enough 50-50 games to make up for a cold stretch of slower, stagnant offense. Matt Ryan’s shot forces OT as Lakers rally to beat Pelicans

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