The Los Angeles Lakers got the best of the New Orleans Pelicans when the teams met up on Wednesday in a game that also functioned as a reunion of former teammates.
Anthony Davis led the way for the Lakers in the 114-110 victory, dropping 41 against his former team, shutting out the boos he heard all night to help L.A. move to 16-2 this season.
Kyle Kuzma contributed 16 points in 24 minutes, but his biggest win might have come off the court. After the game, Kuzma posted a photo of himself getting off a clean shot over of the defense of his old buddy Josh Hart.
“Just for good ol’ time sake,” Kuzma wrote. “Hold that [Josh Hart].”
Hart quickly responded, reposting the photo saying: “I just knew this pic was getting posted somewhere. I’ll get my pic next time #part2.”
The teams next meet up Jan. 3 in Los Angeles.
It’s not the first time the former teammates have engaged in some smack talk since the trade. Shortly after the deal, Hart spoke on what he wanted to do when he saw his buddy on the court.
“When I see [Kyle Kuzma] on the court I’m tryna bust his ass…After that, we’ll have a glass of wine”
Kuzma responded: “I would never let someone that plays video games for a living beat me in basketball.”
The jabs are all in good fun, but it can’t be easy Lakers who were sent to New Orleans and now have to watch their former squad reel off the best record in the NBA and be considered title favorites.
Kyle Kuzma Tears Into Pelicans Fans for Booing Anthony Davis
The game between the squads also marked the return of Davis to Smoothie King Center, which he called home for the first seven years of his career. They booed him relentlessly, but dropping 41 points in a win is a good way to respond.
“Obviously, the emotions were high,” Davis told reporters after the game. “I think this game was circled on both calendars. And they came out guns blazing and we were able to come out with the win.”
Davis relied on his teammates to get through the emotional return.
“My teammates kept telling me, ‘AD, don’t worry about it. We’re going to get this win. We’ll find a way to win it for you,’” Davis said.
Kuzma had Davis’ back, calling out Pelicans fans for the boos.
“New Orleans fans should probably boo their own team for letting him get 40 when you come back,” Kuzma said via Bill Oram of The Athletic. “I don’t know what that was.”
Lakers Look to Run Win Streak to Double-Digits Against Washington
The Lakers are sitting pretty with the best record in the NBA and have won nine in a row. They are heavily favored to move that streak to 10 against the Washington Wizards (6-10) on Friday.
The Lakers are listed as 11.5-point favorites for the game, with a total of 235.5.
Washington won a high-scoring affair with the Suns last time out, pulling out a 140-132 victory. The Wizards had lost two in a row before that to the Nuggets and Kings.