The Los Angeles Lakers got off to a much better start than they had in each of their last two games. Unfortunately the result was still the same as they fell to the Detroit Pistons 102-97.
It was the backcourt leading the way for the Lakers (15-30) on this night as Lou Williams came off the bench for 26 points and four assists. Jordan Clarkson also had 16 points off the bench while D’Angelo Russell had a bounce back night with 20 points, seven rebounds, and three assists though he also had five turnovers.
Marcus Morris and Tobias Harris combined for 46 points, 16 rebounds and six three-pointers and Andre Drummond had a double-double with 15 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Pistons (19-24).
Russell helped get the Lakers off to an excellent start as the led by as many as 14 points early on, though that lead was cut to eight by the end of the quarter thanks to a Tobias Harris dunk at the buzzer. In fact, buzzer-beaters was a theme for the Pistons throughout the night.
Andre Drummond hit a 3/4 court shot at the halftime buzzer that gave Detroit a two-point lead at the half and Ish Smith hit a fadeaway to beat the third quarter buzzer to put the Pistons up three heading into the final frame.
One bright spot for the Lakers was rookie center Ivica Zubac who saw some minutes after Tarik Black went down with an ankle injury. Zubac finished with four points, five rebounds, and two blocks in only nine minutes.
The Lakers had chances down the stretch, but just couldn’t get shots to fall down the stretch while the Pistons made clutch plays when they needed to. A long three from Williams gave the Lakers a one-point lead late, but Reggie Jackson answered with a three-point play of his own. Ultimately a three from Tobias Harris on a broken play with about 30 seconds left wound up being the difference in this game.
The starters as a whole were a disappointment for the Lakers as outside of Russell, the other four starters combined for 20 points. Julius Randle and Luol Deng each scored only two points on 1-6 shooting on the night as the front court was completely outplayed.
Up next for the Lakers is a home matchup against another young up and coming team in the Denver Nuggets who currently sit at 15-23.