Lakers carry surge into New Orleans

( - The Los Angeles Lakers will try to keep the momentum going after Thursday's big win over the Houston Rockets when they visit the New Orleans Pelicans.

Steve Blake nailed the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1.3 ticks left on the clock Thursday to knock off the Rockets, now led by former disgruntled Laker, Dwight Howard, 99-98.

"It was obviously a great win and a lot of fun for us," Lakers guard Steve Nash said. "We've been struggling a little bit, trying to keep our head above water and it was a huge win. It was a great win for us in terms of the belief and some reward for all the hard work and sticking together."

The Lakers came into Thursday's game losers of three of their last four. Friday's tilt with the Pelicans will end a three-game swing through the south.

Six Lakers scored in double figures on Thursday and the bench did most of the heavy lifting. Jodie Meeks paced L.A. with 18 points, followed by 16 for Wesley Johnson and 11 by Jordan Farmar. All totaled, the second unit contributed 54 points against Houston.

Blake finished with 14, while Nash chipped in 12. Nick Young scored 11 points and Pau Gasol, the Lakers' leading scorer, only managed two points on 1-for-10 shooting.

The Pelicans come into Friday night's bout at New Orleans Arena on an 11-game losing streak at the hands of the Lakers.

On Wednesday, New Orleans picked up a great road win, a 99-84 drubbing of the Grizzlies in Memphis. The Pelicans had a 10-point lead at the half, then piled it on in the third quarter, winning the 12-minute stretch, 28-16.

"We've had the lead at halftime before. The third quarters have just given us trouble," New Orleans center Jason Smith said. "We just knew we had to come out with a concerted effort and be motivated to come out and have a big third quarter."

Five Pelicans scored in double figures against Memphis. Eric Gordon led the way with 19, followed by 18 from Anthony Davis, 16 from Tyreke Evans off the bench. Jrue Holiday and Jason Smith were the other New Orleans players to crack the double-digit plateau.

New Orleans has tightened things up significantly on the defensive end as compared to last season. The Pelicans rank eighth in opponents' scoring at 95.4 ppg.

The last time the Pelicans beat the Lakers was on March 29, 2010.