The Lakers on Sunday showed that they are capable of playing defense, holding the Detroit Pistons scoreless for four consecutive minutes in the fourth quarter.
Ending a four-game losing streak while earning their first victory of the year at Staples Center, the 2-8 Lakers held the visiting Pistons (5-5) to 36.5% shooting in a low-scoring 97-85 victory.
Kobe Bryant, logging a season-high 37 minutes, led the way for the Lakers with 17 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.
Detroit center Andre Drummond, who has been terrorizing the league through the early stages of the season, finished with 17 points with 17 rebounds.
The Lakers were able to briefly build an 11-point lead in the first half, but watched it shrink to four before the start of the third quarter.
Detroit pulled even by the start of the fourth quarter, eventually building a three-point lead within a few minutes, but the Lakers scored four straight baskets to pull ahead by six before a Drummond dunk with 7:28 on the clock.
The Pistons wouldn’t get another point until Spencer Dinwiddie’s jumper with 3:24 left in the game. Detroit scored 19 as a team in the quarter while the Lakers went for 31.
Jordan Clarkson matched Bryant with 17 points. Nick Young added 13 points off the bench in his most complete game of the season, leading all players with a plus-20. Roy Hibbert was also in double figures with 12 points.
Dinwiddie also scored 17 while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 10. The recently high-scoring Reggie Jackson was held to nine points.
The Lakers shot 41.3% from the field and 31.6% (six for 19) from three-point range while earning 29 points at the free-throw line on 39 attempts (74.4%). The Lakers also had 24 assists on 31 baskets and 16 turnovers.
Detroit, which lost Saturday at Staples Center to the Clippers, shot 25.9% (seven for 27) from behind the three-point arc and 53.3% (eight for 15) from the free-throw line. The Pistons committed 12 turnovers.
The Lakers quickly return to the road Monday, visiting the Phoenix Suns (5-4). The Pistons host the Cleveland Cavaliers (8-2) on Tuesday.
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