The Los Angeles Lakers won the important away game against the New Orleans Pelicans and further improved their position in the fight for the playoffs in the US basketball league NBA.
With the 123:108, the Lakers, who are in ninth place around national team captain Dennis Schröder, distanced themselves from their direct pursuer from New Orleans and now drew level with the Dallas Mavericks with 34 wins and 35 losses. The Texans are in eighth place, both teams meet on Friday in Los Angeles.
The Lakers played a stellar first half without the still-missing superstar LeBron James and set an internal record of 15 three-pointers converted. Shortly after the break, the lead was even 40 points. Los Angeles then eased off, but consistently had a lead of at least 14 points. The best pitcher was Anthony Davis with 35 points, Malik Beasley hit seven three-pointers and scored 24 points. Schröder didn't have a convincing evening, sticking with 3 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds.
Defeat for the Wagner brothers
With 11 points for Franz Wagner and 12 points for Moritz Wagner, the result of the Berlin brothers was also lower than often this season - but from the point of view of the Orlando Magic, the 114:132 bankruptcy at the San Antonio Spurs was even more annoying. The loss to the Texans, who are among the worst teams in the league, put an unexpected damper on hopes of making the play-ins to the playoffs.
The 125:110 victory of the Portland Trail Blazers against the Denver Nuggets was no help in this context. The Nuggets, still number one in the Western Conference, lost their fourth game in a row. Portland is ranked ninth in the Eastern Conference, with teams ranked seventh through ten playing the last two tickets to the playoffs.
The Milwaukee Bucks are the first team to qualify for the playoffs after beating the Phoenix Suns 116-104. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 36 points for the current best team in the league, who became the first team to reach 50 wins this season.