Five takeaways from the Lakers’ 97-85 win over the Detroit Pistons
The Lakers (2-9) got their first home win of the season on Sunday night, defeating the Detroit Pistons (5-5). Here are five takeaways from the Lakers’ 97-85 win at Staples Center.
1. The Pistons scored five straight points to climb ahead, 72-69, with 10:17 on the clock in the fourth quarter. The Lakers held Detroit scoreless until Andre Drummond dunked a pass from Reggie Jackson with 7:28 left.
From there, the Pistons’ drought continued until Spencer Dinwiddie hit a jumper with 3:24 left.
The Lakers have struggled defensively throughout the season, but have improved in recent games (losses nonetheless). In the fourth quarter, they held Detroit to just two points in about seven minutes.
The Pistons were on the second night of a back-to-back, losing to the Clippers on Saturday, but the Lakers will happily take the results after already losing so many games in this young season.
2. Pistons Coach Stan Van Gundy spoke highly of Lakers center Roy Hibbert.
“Hibbert is a very good defender. I mean, he is one of the best rim protectors in the league, something we need more of,” Van Gundy said. “Andre [Drummond] could learn from [him]. Andre does a lot of great things but he’s not protecting the rim at all. Hibbert is a great rim protector, and I thought he did a good job of that today. That’s what Roy Hibbert does.”
Hibbert finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and two blocks -- he’s managed at least two in every game this season. He left the game with a broken nose, courtesy of Drummond.
The Lakers will evaluate Hibbert on Tuesday, after they visit the Phoenix Suns (5-4) on Monday. Though the diagnosis won’t be official until then, Hibbert said Sunday he was pretty confident his nose was broken. He said he suffered a similar injury three years ago, when Kobe Bryant broke his hose when the center was with the Indiana Pacers.
Hibbert said he’ll play on Monday regardless of what the doctors say.
Drummond managed 17 points and 17 rebounds but didn’t block any of the Lakers’ shots.
3. Bryant neared a triple-double, scoring 17 points with nine assists and eight rebounds. His 36 minutes was a season high, enough to knock him out on Monday against the Suns.
Coach Byron Scott said he told Bryant he would help finish out the game Sunday but that the price was a missed game against the Suns.
“I pushed through the fourth quarter because we had to get this win at home. Right now, I am barely standing up,” Bryant said after the game. “My back and legs are killing me but I am going to take an ice bath and stretch, and I have a full day of recovery tomorrow.”
He’ll have more time than that. After the visit to Phoenix, the Lakers are off until Friday, when they host the Toronto Raptors (7-4).
4. Nick Young had a big night, finishing with 13 points off the bench on four-of-six shooting.
In an eight-point win, Young had a game-high +/- of 20 points -- meaning the Lakers outscored the Pistons by that number over Young’s 26 minutes.
Scott praised Young’s defensive effort after the game.
“He was not allowing his man to score. He did all the things that we talk about,” Scott said. “He tagged cutters when he had to. He got back to shooters when he had to.”
“He just did all of the little things, that’s why he stayed on the court,” the coach said. “Obviously he’s a treat on the offensive end, every time he catches the ball ... so when he has both ends of the floor, it makes him that much better as a player.”
Young’s description was a bit more colorful.
“We just pretty much like a boy band, like *NSYNC,” he said. “We were really in sync in the game. I was more like Justin Timberlake out there on defense.”
5. The Lakers are the only team in the league with two wins, but they’re still better than three other struggling franchises.
The Brooklyn Nets and New Orleans Pelicans are 1-9, while the Philadelphia 76ers (0-10) have yet to win a game and are getting out-scored by a league-worst 13.5 points a night.
The Golden State Warriors (11-0) are the only undefeated team in the league. The Cleveland Cavaliers (8-2) have the best record in the Eastern Conference, second just to the Warriors.
With the win, the Lakers are now in 14th place, three games behind the seventh and eighth-place Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets, both at 5-5.
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