LOS ANGELES (AP)Matt Ryan hit a tying 3-pointer at the regulation buzzer, Lonnie Walker made a key 3-pointer in overtime while scoring 28 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the New Orleans Pelicans 120-117 Wednesday night for their second straight victory after an 0-5 start to the season.
Anthony Davis had 20 points and 16 rebounds for the Lakers, who blew a 16-point lead and appeared to be finished before Dyson Daniels’ two missed free throws with 1.4 seconds left in regulation allowed the Lakers to run one last play.
Austin Reaves made a slick crosscourt pass to Ryan, and the newcomer who surprisingly made the Lakers’ roster last month drilled a fallaway 3 in front of their bench to force OT.
”I’m thrilled for him,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. ”It worked. It was fabulously executed, and Matt had the courage to line it up and knock it down.”
Ryan attended three universities, went undrafted and worked as a DoorDash delivery driver before he made his NBA debut with one game for Boston last season. He is playing rotation minutes for the Lakers because of his outside shooting stroke, but he missed six of his first seven 3-point attempts against New Orleans before he delivered their biggest shot of the year.
”The pass was clean, and the defense was just far enough away where I could get it off clean,” Ryan said. ”As a shooter, once you can get your feet down and you see the rim clean enough, that made it a lot easier.”
Walker’s early 3-pointer put the Lakers ahead for good in overtime. C.J. McCollum’s jumper trimmed the Lakers’ lead to three in the final minute, but McCollum missed a potential tying 3-pointer with 6.7 seconds remaining, and the Pelicans couldn’t foul before the buzzer.
LeBron James had 20 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Lakers. Russell Westbrook had 13 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in another solid game as a reserve, although he was on the bench down the stretch and in overtime.
Zion Williamson scored 27 points and McCollum had 22 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Pelicans, who dropped to 4-3.
”We did everything we needed to do to put ourselves in a position to win that game, and we let it slip away,” Pels coach Willie Green said. ”This is definitely a growth moment for some of our young guys. We didn’t deserve to win that game, so credit to the Lakers. … We can’t wait until the second half to decide we want to play, and that’s what we did.”
Williamson scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and pushed New Orleans to a three-point lead in the final minute of regulation. New Orleans appeared to have it wrapped up when Larry Nance Jr. dunked with 7.8 seconds to play and Walker missed a tying 3-point attempt.
Pelicans: Herb Jones missed his fourth straight game with his hyperextended right knee. Green expects him back Friday. … High-scoring F Brandon Ingram stayed home and missed his fourth straight game in the concussion protocol, but Green said the former Lakers star is ”working. He’s progressing. We hope to have him back soon.” … Daniels played despite a left ankle sprain.
Lakers: Davis played his second straight game after missing his first game of the season due to his balky back. Ham praised the eight-time All-Star selection’s toughness in his third season of frequent injury woes: ”His back situation is something we definitely need to manage, but it’s something that’s not going to worsen with what he’s doing.”
Pelicans: Host Warriors on Friday.
Lakers: Host Jazz on Friday.
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