Lakers defeat Pistons, 106-96, to stay unbeaten against East

Lakers pull away in the second half to defeat Detroit Pistons on the road, 106-96

Lakers 106, Detroit Pistons 96 (final)

Kobe Bryant started slowly, but a quick 12-point surge helped the Lakers pull away from the Pistons.

The Lakers have struggled in games in the third quarter, but after a close first half, the Lakers pushed ahead with a 35-20 third-quarter spurt -- leading by as many as 21 points.

After notching a triple-double Sunday in a win over the Toronto Raptors (13-4), Bryant tallied a less flattering triple-double Tuesday, with 12 points, 13 assists and 10 turnovers.

Jordan Hill was the game's leading scorer with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Nick Young was an early spark off the bench with 19 points. Carlos Boozer added 14, Wesley Johnson 13, Jeremy Lin 11 and Wayne Ellington nine.

As a team, the Lakers shot 48.1% from the field and an impressive 58.8% from three-point range (10-17).

The Pistons shot 36.7% and 28.6%, respectively. Josh Smith had 18 points with 10 rebounds, six assists and three steals. Andre Drummond totaled eight points with 13 rebounds.

Starting point guard Brandon Jennings shot just 20% from the field (2-10) with four assists and three turnovers. Detroit's bench made a late run, led by D.J. Augustin, who had 13 points and five assists.

Ed Davis led the Lakers with 11 rebounds off the bench.

At 5-13, the Lakers are back at it quickly, traveling to Washington to play the Wizards (11-5) with their perfect 4-0 record against the Eastern Conference on the line.

The Pistons (3-15) visit the Boston Celtics (4-11), also on Wednesday.

Lakers 81, Pistons 65 (end of third quarter)

For the first 28 1/2 minutes, Kobe Bryant looked tired. While he had nine assists (with six turnovers), he had yet to score. With 7:25 on the clock in the third, Bryant finally hit a jumper.

Then Bryant converted three-straight free throws, a layup, a three-pointer and another jumper for 12 points in a row.

The Lakers finished the period up by 16 points. Bryant notched a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists.

Nick Young led the Lakers with 16. Jordan Hill and Carlos Boozer also both added 12. Wesley Johnson contributed 10 points and four blocks.

Josh Smith was high-man for the Pistons with 18 points, along with 10 rebounds, six assists and three steals.

Caron Butler scored 11 off the bench as the Pistons shot just 34.3% from the field. The Lakers hit 47.7% overall, but 53.8% from three-point range (7-13).

Lakers 46, Pistons 45 (halftime)

The Lakers pulled ahead on a Jordan Hill hook shot with 5.6 seconds left, out-scoring the Pistons, 27-26, in the second quarter.

Kobe Bryant looked fatigued, playing almost 17 minutes while missing all five of his shot attempts and turning the ball over four times. Bryant did collect five assists, including the late Hill basket to give the Lakers their one-point lead.

As a team, the Lakers shot 45.5% from the field, led by Carlos Boozer and Nick Young, with 10 each.

Wesley Johnson scored seven in a row for the Lakers, including a monstrous dunk off a pump fake from the corner.

Detroit shot 40.0% from the field, led by Josh Smith with 15 points, six rebounds and five assists. Andre Drummond scored eight with 12 rebounds in just 18 minutes.

Lakers 19, Pistons 19 (end of first quarter)

Lakers forward Nick Young converted a three-point play with 16.6 seconds left in the first quarter to tie the score at 19 against the Pistons.

The Lakers went on an early nine-point run to turn a four-point deficit to a five-point lead, but Detroit responded with six straight. The Lakers didn't score for a full four minutes before Young's final basket.

Young led all scorers with six points. The Lakers shot just 36.4% from the field. Kobe Bryant missed all three of his shot attempts and turned the ball over three times.

Detroit shot 42.9%, led by Andre Drummond with five points.

Pregame

The Lakers (4-13) start a three-game trip on Tuesday night, visiting the Detroit Pistons (3-14).

Even with a sizable front court of Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith, the Pistons have struggled to win games.

The Lakers are still down Xavier Henry (Achilles' tendon), Ryan Kelly (hamstring), Steve Nash (back) and Julius Randle (leg). Former Lakers guard Jodie Meeks (back) will sit out for the Pistons.

For an in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers at Detroit Pistons.

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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