LOS ANGELES (WVUE) - In his first game action since Feb. 21, Ryan Anderson was optimistic he could help the Pelicans without disrupting their rotation. With 17 points Wednesday night, Anderson was a difference maker in a big 113-92 win over the Lakers.
Looking healthy and energized, Anderson played 22 minutes and began his scoring with a great drive and dunk, then followed up with a pair of three-pointers. Anderson's sharp-shooting has been sorely missed by the Pelicans (40-34), who are now just 1.5 games behind Oklahoma City (42-33) in the playoff race. Having Anderson back for this stretch of the regular season is critical.
"Doing today is what I was talking about wanting to do, don't want to be a hindrance," Anderson said following the win. "Obviously, I was questioning my shape, where I was at, but I felt great tonight. That was definitely my prayer before the game, give me some lungs God. I felt pretty good."
Coach Monty Williams added, "He's trying to find his way in a different slot in the rotation. If Ryan plays within the system, we can be a really good team. Because Norris and Toney and Dante are out there changing the game defensively. Ryan can space the floor and let those guys give him a break on the defensive end, especially when they're out pressuring the ball. And offensively, those guys play together. Usually, Ryan will be the beneficiary."
Up next for the Pelicans are the Sacramento Kings Friday followed by a trip to Portland on Saturday. The team returns home next week to face the NBA's best team, the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.