Pelicans Lakers Basketball

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans' Julius Randle during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James scored 33 points, Brandon Ingram added 23 and the Los Angeles Lakers weathered strong performances by Anthony Davis and Julius Randle for a 125-119 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.

Davis had 22 points and eight rebounds in the first three quarters after getting a warm pregame reception from Lakers fans who eagerly followed Los Angeles' fruitless pursuit of a trade for the superstar forward earlier this season.

Randle scored 35 points against his former team, but couldn't finish a comeback against James and the Lakers' new core during New Orleans' fifth loss in seven games. The team travels to Phoenix for a game on Friday.

The Lakers had a 12-point lead early in the fourth quarter before the Pelicans trimmed it to 118-117 on Darius Miller's 3-pointer with 1:38 to play. After Ingram hit a layup, Reggie Bullock forced a turnover by Jrue Holiday before James drilled a one-footed 3-pointer from the corner with 31 seconds left.

Kyle Kuzma scored 22 points and Rajon Rondo had 16 assists for the Lakers, who avenged a loss in New Orleans four days earlier with just their third win in nine games overall.

Davis sat out the fourth quarter again under his minutes restriction, but the Staples Center crowd gave a loud ovation during player introductions to the perennial All-Star who nearly ended up playing for the home team in this matchup — and still could someday soon.

The Lakers spent several weeks attempting to make a deal for Davis, whose trade request last month threw both of these teams into upheaval.

While the Pelicans were forced into a future that won't include the best player in franchise history, practically everyone on the Lakers' roster outside of James spent the next few weeks reading daily speculation about their possible departure for New Orleans in a trade.

The Pelicans elected to hold onto Davis at the deadline despite the Lakers' strenuous efforts to pry him away, but the saga is likely to continue this summer. Until then, the Lakers will continue their pursuit of a playoff berth without Davis, who doesn't seem bothered on the court by his unclear future.

The Pelicans elected to sit Davis for the entire game last week during the Lakers' visit to New Orleans, which won anyway. Davis got only 21 minutes at Staples.

Randle had an outstanding night, finishing just two points off his career high. The big man also appeared to have words with the Lakers' coaching staff after nearly every one of his baskets, although the smiles on the Lakers assistants' faces indicated it might have been good-natured.

Randle spent his first four NBA seasons with the Lakers before leaving as a free agent last summer. The emotions from his departure shouldn't still be raw for Randle: He already had his homecoming game at Staples on Dec. 21, getting 21 points and eight rebounds in a loss.