The Los Angeles Lakers got their fourth win of the season Sunday behind Kobe Bryant’s 20th career triple-double. With Bryant distributing the ball early, he finished the night with 31 points, 12 assists, and 11 rebounds while also becoming the first player in NBA history to reach 30,000 points and 6,000 assists.
Coming off the strong performance against the Raptors, Bryant and the Lakers hit the road for a three game trip that began Tuesday. The Detroit Pistons were first to play host to the Lakers and hoped to improve on their 2-7 home record. Leading the way for the Pistons was Southern California native Brandon Jennings who entered the game averaging a team high 16.4 points, 5.8 assists, and 1.3 steals.
The Lakers frontcourt faced a challenge dealing with Detroit’s impressive trio of Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe, and Josh Smith. Drummond leads the team in rebounding while Monroe and Smith are second and third in scoring, respectively. Monroe came off the bench Tuesday as Jordan Hill matched up with Drummond and Carlos Boozer guarding Smith.
Coming into the game, the Lakers held a record of 4-13 while the Pistons were 3-14.
The Lakers gave up a lob to Drummond on their first defensive possession. Carlos Boozer started the scoring for the Lakers by first hitting a mid-range jumper followed by a bucket down low. After allowing the Pistons to score in the paint on three of their first four field goals, a Wesley Johnson block led to an easy bucket for Boozer on the other end. Another Boozer basket gave the Lakers a 13-8 lead with 6:41 left in the quarter. The Pistons went on a quick 6-0 run before Nick Young hit a three pointer to bring the score to 16-14 in favor of the Lakers. Both teams finished the quarter struggling to score as the first 12 minutes came to end with the scored tied 19-19.
Wayne Ellington hit two jumpers to open up the second quarter to help the Lakers take a four-point lead. The Pistons continued to miss shots, missing their first four attempts before Smith scored on their next three possessions.
In the midst of Smith’s scoring, Young continued to score hitting a jumper while also drawing a foul on Pistons guard Cartier Martin. A layup by Ellington pushed the Laker total to 31 as the team held a one point lead midway through the quarter. The Pistons stormed out to a 35-31 lead before Boozer scored.
On the next possession, Bryant found Hill off a pick and roll to tie the game at 35. Hill then gave the Lakers the lead back after putting back his own miss. Johnson scored the final seven points for the Lakers which including a monster sideline slam as the Lakers entered the half up 46-45.
Bryant opened the quarter assisting on three straight field goals as the Lakers jumped out to a 53-48 lead. Kyle Singer his a three to bring the Piston within two, but Jeremy Lin responded with a three of his own. Lin then drew a foul on Smith who then earned himself a technical after complaining the call. Bryant hit his first basket with 7:24 left in the quarter to extend the Laker lead to nine, 60-51.
The Pistons received a second technical after head coach Stan Van Gundy questioned an out of bounds call that went was awarded to the Lakers. Bryant found his groove hitting the technical free throw and picking up the next nine Laker points.
With the Pistons missing their shots, the Lakers found themselves up 70-54 after Bryant’s scoring barrage. Bryant continued to affect the game as he picked up his tenth assist of the night when Young hit a corner three. By quarter’s end, the Lakers held a comfortable 16 point lead, 81-65.
The Lakers began the quarter hitting from deep after triples from Wayne Ellington and Young. After some cold shooting by the bench and allowing the Pistons to cut the Laker down to ten, Byron Scott sent his starters back into the game. Right away, Boozer quickly found Hill for an easy layup. The Pistons came within after eight before a Hill jumper brought the lead back to ten.
After made free throw from D.J. Augustin, the Pistons pulled within nine with 2:20 remaining. Wesley Johnson hit a three which was then matched by Datome.
Fortunately, a few of free throws from Hill and then from Lin sealed the deal, 106-96.[divide]
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