LOS ANGELES – Luke Walton and Rajon Rondo had a lengthy one-on-one discussion to try to put the team back on track.
"It was an honest conversation," said Walton. "It was healthy and positive."
More important perhaps, Rondo was feeling healthy again. He returned to the Lakers after the all-star break with a stiff back that limited him to a total of 11 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds in the first three Lakers games.
After the awkwardness of Anthony Davis' visit, the Lakers can now focus on overtaking unsuccessful trade negotiations and on the post-season.
Despite his dubious prospects after the defeats against the Pelicans and Grizzlies, LeBron James took a more positive perspective Wednesday in Los Angeles. He said about the Lakers: "I love where we are today."
After defeats in New Orleans and Memphis, Walton chose to insert Rondo into the starting lineup on Wednesday. Rondo responded with 11 points, 16 assists and seven rebounds to help LeBron James and the Lakers make a two-game comeback with a 125-119 win over the New Orleans pelicans.
James delivered 33 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. Three of his points were marked by a three-marker turn from a tight turn in a tight turn, with a score at 31.3 seconds of the inning, giving the Lakers a six-point lead.
Rondo felt much better, and it showed. He stated that he had back pain for about four days and that he was having trouble getting out of bed.
"I think I've been sleeping on a bad bed in Jamaica," Rondona told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne about what had slowed the veteran goalkeeper in the last few games.
In search of all that could motivate the Lakers, Walton started Rondo, Reggie Bullock, Brandon Ingram, James and Kyle Kuzma against the biggest Pelicans, who faced Anthony Davis for 20 minutes.
Rondo gave five assists in the third quarter and then found his shot in the fourth when he scored three of four shots and scored seven of his points.
"I think with Zo [Lonzo Ball] James and his team, Dave McMenamin of Rondo, of Rondo, told Dave McMenamin of ESPN's Rondo, starting with Ball with a sprained third-year ankle. "With me and BI [Ingram] do not have all the responsibilities for handling the ball in the first formation, which [Rondo] in it, it gives us first of all another spirit. The cerebral part of all this is huge. And then it just keeps us with some stability there.
"We managed to find the pace, we had 19 quick points, we had 37 assists, between me and D, we had 26 assists and [the team] had only eight turnovers. Obviously, this ratio was ridiculous. That's some Golden State's — just right there. … If we did not turn the ball, it allowed us to put our defense in the half court and we looked really good. "
Ingram and Kuzma continued their strong game recently. Ingram scored 23 points and six rebounds, and Kuzma had 22 points and five rebounds while battling bigger pelicans.
The Lakers were lagging midway through the third quarter, but Kuzma then started a 10-1 run that saw the striker dive three times while James made another slam. At one point, the Lakers had three consecutive dunks that gave life to the team and the arena.
And then, it's James who won the long-awaited win for the Lakers with his big 3 points the same night his best friend, Dwyane Wade, snapped a winning shot of the glass to knock out the Golden. State Warriors in Miami.
"The degree of difficulty, mine was a little harder than his," said James when asked what shot was the most difficult. "It was weird, I did not even know if it was a hit, it was like, do you know how you play a pop-a-shot?" And he had it because "it was a hit. he did not have time, but yes, I think my shot was harder. "
A night where the The Clippers and Sacramento Kings have both lost. The Lakers are now in three games of the Clippers and San Antonio Spurs for seventh and eighth place in the Western Conference standings.
On Friday, Ball will be reassessed medically to determine his status. On Wednesday though, the Lakers were happy to see one of their leaders feel better and more like him.
"I am very confident in what Rondo has done in this league," Walton said. "He had a bit of trouble, but part of it concerns me, his minutes were also broken and we tried to find different groups at work.
"But he has shown that throughout his career he has come to play, we have recruited him as a leader of the championship, we have to start winning games and I am quite confident to do so. opportunity to help drive us. "