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New Orleans Pelicans attempt to close out home stand against Los Angeles Lakers with fourth consecutive victory

On their third game in as many nights, New Orleans hopes to keep Lonzo Ball and crew at bay.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

I teach the fifth grade. At my school, we’ve got six more days of class before Spring Break and everyone’s consciously aware of it. We’re tired and grumpy, and knowing we have to do this whole “school” thing six more times before a blessed week off only makes us more tired and grumpy. But we’ve just got to suck it up and do it.

So I feel your pain, New Orleans Pelicans.

The Pelicans are set to play their third game in three nights on Thursday. That’s insane. But! They have a chance to win three games in three nights. That’s neat. To do so, New Orleans welcomes in the Los Angeles Lakers, a team that’s in a bit of basketball purgatory at the moment: the Lakers aren’t a good team, owning a 31-39 record, but they’re not so bad that they’re in contention for a top spot in the upcoming lottery.

Stuck between a rock and a hard place, the Lakers are deciding to “try,” which is a truly novel concept. Los Angeles has won eight of 13 games since the All-Star break, and if you go back to January 7, LA’s 20-12. What I’m saying is that the Lakers are an infinitely stronger team than their overall record would indicate.

As much progress as LA’s shown this year, they’re atrocious on the road. New Orleans almost has as many road wins, 21, as the Lakers do losses, 23. The Lakers are one of the better offensive teams in the league and get contributions from a bevy of players. Eight Lakers are averaging double digit points, led by Brandon Ingram’s 16. Fortunately for New Orleans, Ingram is scheduled to miss tonight’s game due to a hip flexor strain.

After getting bogged down in a defensive fight with the Pacers, the Pelicans should welcome the opportunity to play a team like the Lakers. Los Angeles is first in pace, ninth in points and rank 26th in opposing points allowed. If the Pelicans still have any legs under them — it’ll help that Jrue Holiday will be another day removed from being infected with the flu, Solomon Hill should return to the lineup after a day of rest to provide a boost, and, of course, Anthony Davis on half a leg is better than most, they should relish a chance to beat a team at their own game — something they’ve already accomplished twice this season.

Geaux Pels!

What: New Orleans Pelicans vs Los Angeles Lakers

Where: Smoothie King Center

When: March 22, 2018, 7:00 p.m. Central

How: FSNO, WRNO 99.5 FM