LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Jordan Hill had a career-high 21 points and 11 rebounds in his first start of the season, and Pau Gasol added 14 points and eight rebounds in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 116-95 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night.
Nick Young scored 17 points for Los Angeles, which lost five of its last seven before trouncing the Pelicans, who beat them handily last week in New Orleans.
Jodie Meeks and Xavier Henry scored 15 points apiece for the Lakers, who led by 20 points in the first half before coasting to their 12th win in their last 13 regular-season meetings with New Orleans.
Eric Gordon scored 17 points for the Pelicans, who have lost on the first two stops of their three-game West Coast road trip.
Tyreke Evans had 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting for the Pelicans, who snapped an 11-game losing streak in this series with a 96-85 home victory over the Lakers on Friday.
Anthony Davis, who scored a career-high 32 points in that win, had just 15 points in the rematch — nine in the fourth quarter. Los Angeles outrebounded New Orleans 53-31 and had 33 assists, including 10 from new starting point guard Steve Blake.
With both members of the Lakers’ decorated backcourt sidelined, Hill shined in his chance to join the Lakers’ sixth starting lineup in nine games this season. Steve Nash is out for at least two weeks with nerve problems in his back, while Kobe Bryant still hasn’t returned to practice after surgery on his torn Achilles’ tendon in April.
After missing much of last season with hip woes, Hill seized his chance to contribute to the Lakers, surpassing his previous career high in points early in the third quarter. The fifth-year big man provided his usual energy and rebounding determination to Los Angeles, but supplemented it with an accurate shot and constant rolls to the basket, where his teammates repeatedly found him for scores.
Two days after giving up 47 first-quarter points to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a blowout home loss, the Lakers fared much better early on against New Orleans.
Los Angeles opened the second quarter with a 22-5 run to take a 20-point lead with stellar work down low from Hill, who paced the Lakers to a 55-39 halftime lead.
The Lakers stretched the lead to 26 points in the second half, with Young, Henry and Meeks providing steady outside scoring while Gasol and Hill excelled down low. New Orleans trimmed the lead to 15 points early in the fourth quarter, but the Lakers responded with an 11-1 run led by Hill and Meeks.
Lou Amundson made his debut for the Pelicans, scoring three points while playing in a No. 17 jersey that didn’t have his name on the back. New Orleans picked up the UNLV product after the Clippers waived him last month.
Josh Childress, also signed earlier Tuesday to provide some frontcourt depth, didn’t play.
Henry provided the highlight of the night when he slammed a monstrous dunk over his former college teammate, the 7-foot Jeff Withey. Withey positioned himself in the lane, when Henry held his course and elevated for an emphatic one-handed slam.
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