Lakers fall to Pelicans again, as playoff odds slip

LOS ANGELES — The Lakers have long contended that as long as they’re healthy together, they can compete.

On Friday night, the band was finally back together: LeBron James was tossing chalk dust in the air. Anthony Davis was leaping into the team huddle after introductions. The Big Three with Russell Westbrook got to play in concert for the first time in a month and a half.

But even fully assembled, the Lakers (31-45) couldn’t stop their slide – and the latest defeat, a 114-111 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, was a game they couldn’t afford to lose.