LOS ANGELES --- Opportunity knocked and Jordan Hill answered.
The Los Angeles power forward scored a career-best 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, sparking the Lakers to a 116-95 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans at Staples Center on Tuesday night.
Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said before the game Hill would start because of his energy. Hill used his frequent bursts of activity and boosted the Lakers on a second-quarter spurt that allowed them to take a double-digit lead and cruise.
The Lakers (4-5) snapped a two-game losing streak and avenged last Friday's setback to the Pelicans (3-5), who lost their second in a row.
Guard Nick Young scored 17 points and guard Xavier Henry added 15, providing the Lakers a strong bench effort. Henry also got the crowd roaring late in the third quarter, when he posterized 7-0 rookie center Jeff Withey, a fellow ex-Kansas player, with a dunk.
Guard Jodie Meeks scored 15 points and Pau Gasol finished with 14 points and eight rebounds for Los Angeles.
A 20-4 run to open the second quarter gave the Lakers a 42-23 lead. They kept matters in hand from that point on as the Pelicans were unable to make a dent in the deficit.
New Orleans forward Anthony Davis picked up his third foul midway through the second period. Hill scored nine of his points in the second, helping the Lakers build a 55-39 advantage at the half. Hill also had six rebounds as Los Angeles outrebounded New Orleans 24-13 before the break. Overall, the Lakers had a 53-31 rebounding edge.
Guard Eric Gordon led the Pelicans with 17 points. Davis, who entered the game averaging 21.7 points and 11.6 rebounds, scored 15 points and had just five rebounds. Davis delivered a career-high 32 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks when the Pelicans defeated the Lakers four days ago, but the foul trouble limited him this time.
Guard Tyreke Evans scored 11 points for New Orleans.
NOTES: Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni shuffled his starting lineup for the sixth time in nine games, starting PF Jordan Hill and SF Wesley Johnson for the first time with SG Jodie Meeks, who replaced the injured G Steve Nash, PG Steve Blake and C Pau Gasol. Hill had 13 rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench in the Lakers' 96-85 loss at New Orleans on Nov. 8. Blake and Gasol are the only Lakers to start each contest. ... The Pelicans signed free agent SF Josh Childress and PF Lou Amundson on Tuesday. To make room, the club waived SF Lance Thomas and PF Arinze Onuaku. ... New Orleans reserve C Greg Stiemsma left the game late in the second quarter with a left leg injury. ... The Lakers beat the Pelicans 11 straight before dropping last week's decision.