Lakers drub Pistons, 108-79, for first win of the season
Lakers 108 - Pistons 79 (final)
Robert Sacre gets his first real regular-season stint with the Lakers, after playing just a single minute against the Portland Trail Blazers. Sacre was a major-minute player for the team through preseaon while Dwight Howard worked his way back from back surgery.
Jordan Hill played in the fourth, so even if he did injure himself in the third, it’s not enough to keep him off the floor.
Best guess, the Lakers starters won’t return tonight.
Then again ... with just under nine minutes left in the game and a 24-point lead, Mike Brown brings back Howard, Bryant and Blake after the Pistons go on a little run.
Brown finally clears his bench with about four minutes left, withand Chris Duhon getting their first opportunities.
The Lakers finally break it open. After a brutal start to the season, the Lakers pummel the Pistons, scoring a 29-point victory over Detroit.
The final period wasn’t pretty, but the Lakers finish the game shooting 51.9% from the field (40-77), 45.5% from three (10-22) and 69.2% from the line (18-26). Turnovers were improved at 15; many coming late after the game was decided.
The Pistons shot 35.4% (28-79), 30.8% (4-13) and 82.6% (19-23), respectively. The Lakers forced 17 turnovers.
Howard led all scorers with 28. World Peace (18), Bryant (15), Gasol (14) and Hill (11) also scored in double-figures. Bryant was two assists and three boards shy of a triple-double, playing 32 minutes.
The Pistons didn’t have a starter in double-digits, but Jonas Jerebko put in 18 off the bench.
The Lakers visit the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.
Lakers 86 - Pistons 55 (end of third quarter)
Bryant needs six rebounds and two assists in the second half to notch a triple-double.
Meanwhile the starting backcourt of Stuckey and Knight has combined for zero points on 0-13 shooting (through 3 1/2 minutes into the third).
Two Prince air-balls in the third and the Lakers are just getting all their frustrations out tonight against the Pistons.
Knight finally scores for the Pistons, on his eighth attempt.
World Peace hits his third three three of the game, and has 18 points on just 10 shots.
Late in the period, Hill landed hard on his ankle and back. He seemed shook up at the time, but seemed to walk it off.
The Lakers are shooting 54% for the game with just nine turnovers. They’ve also nailed half of their 16 three-point attempts.
The Pistons are shooting 33.9% from the field with 14 turnovers.
Howard has hit 11 of 13 shots for 26 points. Jerebko is the only Pistons player in double-figures, with 10.
Lakers 62 - Pistons 34 (halftime)
The Lakers have struggled with lineups featuring Howard and four bench players this season. They started the second quarter tonight with Antawn Jamison, Morris, Ebanks, Hill and Howard . . . but with a 21-point lead.
The Howard-led group struggled, even with World Peace inserted back in for Ebanks at shooting guard. The Pistons trim five points off of the Lakers’ lead.
Coach Brown insisted pregame that this group needs to learn how to play together. They gradually pulled back ahead by 21.
As the Lakers bring additional starters back in, the Pistons make a quick run but the Lakers are just overpowering.
Howard has 20 in 22 minutes. Bryant’s 10 points came with eight assists. Peace (11) and Gasol are also in double figures with the Lakers shooting 62.2% from the field and 54.5% from three. Morris put in a solid eight minutes with six points and two assists.
The Pistons are led by Kyle Singler off the bench with nine points, shooting 38.9% from the field as a team.
Turnovers favored the Lakers with seven to Detroit’s 12.
Lakers 34 - Pistons 13 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers start Steve Blake, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard. The Pistons go with Brandon Knight, Rodney Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince, Jason Maxiell and Greg Monroe.
Pistons Coach Lawrence Frank noted that Stuckey will get the first defensive look against Bryant but that he expects to put Prince on him as well. Stuckey was suffering from a migraine headache earlier in the day but was able to go for Detroit.
The Lakers come out strong early to take an 8-2 lead. The number to watch for the team has been turnovers, which have been nearly crippling early this season.
While the Lakers have four through the first seven minutes of the game, they’ve forced the Pistons into five turnovers. Meanwhile, the Lakers are hitting shots while playing strong defense to build up an 11-point lead early (21-10).
Coach Mike Brown sticks to his rotation plan with Darius Morris backing up Blake, Devin Ebanks behind World Peace and Jordan Hill spelling Howard.
The Lakers are flat-out punishing the Pistons early.
By the end of the quarter, the Lakers have a 21-point lead, shooting 65% from the field with four turnovers. The Pistons shot 33.3% with seven turnovers. Howard leads the Lakers with 11. Maxiell was high-man for Detroit with six.
The Lakers will play their second game without Steve Nash on Sunday night, who is recovering from a non-displaced leg fracture.
Steve Blake will get the start in his stead, with second-year guard Darius Morris expected to play reserve minutes over veteran Chris Duhon.
With an 0-3 record, the Lakers are hungry and frustrated.
The Detroit Pistons have yet to win, and while they have a number of young, talented pieces, this may be the Lakers’ best chance yet to get in the win column.
Even with Nash, the Lakers have struggled for depth. The Pistons may not appear to be a playoff team in the East this season, but they’re going to try and strike the Lakers when they’re down.
Tip-off will be slightly after 6:30 p.m.
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