The good news for the Los Angeles Lakers is they don’t have to see the Detroit Pistons again this season. LeBron James finished with 33 points, 11 assists and four steals, but also had seven of the Lakers’ 22 turnovers as they held on to claim a 135-129 victory over the Pistons in double overtime.
James scored eight points in the second OT period, including a pair of huge 3-pointers to put the game away. The victory was the Lakers’ fourth straight and improved their record to 18-6, just a half-game behind the Utah Jazz for the best record in the league.
Of course, you would have been hard pressed to find many who would’ve thought that would be a necessity coming into the contest as all signs seemed to point to a Lakers blowout victory. The team had a bad taste in their mouth from their first meeting with the Pistons in what is easily their worst loss of the season.
And with Anthony Davis back in the lineup after missing that first meeting, not to mention Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose and Wayne Ellington all out, a runaway victory at Staples Center seemed like a certainty.
But the Lakers’ inability to take care of the ball undid what would have been an outstanding offensive performance otherwise. In addition to James’ seven, Davis, Alex Caruso, Dennis Schroder and Talen Horton-Tucker all had three turnovers.
The Lakers shot 56% from the field and 47.4% behind the 3-point line and led by as many as 17 points in the third quarter before allowing Detroit to climb back.
Davis finished with 30 points, five rebounds and two blocks, while Schroder continued his recent string of good play with 22 points and eight assists. He iced the game with four straight free throws in the final minute.
The Lakers also got 41 points from their four-man bench unit, with Kyle Kuzma leading the way with 14 points and six rebounds. Caruso and Horton-Tucker added 10 points each.
In addition to their turnover issues, the Lakers’ defense just never looked to be in sync, coming off an absolutely dominant second-half performance against the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers allowed at least 25 points three of the four quarters to a Pistons offense that is one of the worst in the NBA.
Next up for Lakers
The Lakers continue their five-game homestand with a pair of games against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday and Wednesday, then face the Memphis Grizzlies.
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