Los Angeles Lakers 2022 Update LeBron James on critical loss to Pelicans: 'When it rains, it pours

LOS ANGELES -- LeBron James' last-ditch 3-pointer found nothing but air, and the Lakers' postseason hopes continued to vanish with Friday night's 114-111 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans

The big picture is that it pretty much was a must-win for us, and we didn't get the job done," said James. "We had great opportunities throughout the night, and we didn't make enough plays down the stretch. So that's the big picture

L.A. faced a crucial matchup against the Western Conference's No. 9 team in New Orleans, two games up on the No. 11 Lakers coming into the night

The Lakers received a welcome lift from James, who returned from a left ankle sprain that cost him two games, and Anthony Davis, who was back in the lineup after an 18-game absence because of a right midfoot sprain

The pair was productive with James (38 points on 13-for-23 shooting) leading all scorers as he topped 35 points for his fifth straight game and Davis (23 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists) making his presence felt on both sides of the floor. But things fell apart in the fourth quarter

The Lakers led by five with 5:07 remaining in the fourth quarter, and the Pelicans reeled off a 13-4 run over the next three minutes of the game

The last five minutes of the fourth were nightmarish. Davis went 0-for-3 from the field and 0-for-2 from the foul line; James went 0-for-3 from the field -- including the airball after using three fakes to try to free up space -- with a turnover; Russell Westbrook, missed two shots at the rim and fouled out

Just feels like you can't catch a break," James said. "No matter what's going on on the floor, it just feels like the ball bounces the other way

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