Rondo sparks Lakers after meeting with Walton

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LOS ANGELES — With the Los Angeles Lakers‘ playoff push in desperate need of a jolt, Luke Walton and Rajon Rondo had a long one-on-one talk to see how to get the team back on track.

“It was an honest conversation,” Walton said. “It was healthy and positive.”

Perhaps more important was that Rondo was feeling healthy again. He returned to the Lakers from the All-Star break with a stiff back that had limited him to a total of 11 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds in the Lakers’ first three games back.

After losses at New Orleans and Memphis, Walton opted to insert Rondo into the starting lineup on Wednesday. Rondo responded with 11 points, 16 assists and seven rebounds to help LeBron James and the Lakers snap a two-game slide with a 125-119 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

James delivered 33 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. Three of his points came on a tightly contested, shot-clock-beating corner 3-pointer off one leg with 31.3 seconds left that gave the Lakers a six-point lead.

Rondo was feeling much better, and it showed. He said he had been suffering from back pain for about four days, and he had difficulty getting out of bed.

“I think I slept on a bad bed in Jamaica,” Rondo told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne about what slowed the veteran point guard down the past few games.

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