The Los Angeles Lakers return home after a tough game in Utah, but it doesn’t get any easier. Awaiting them on Halloween night is a Detroit Pistons team off to an impressive 5-2 start to the season.
The Pistons have won three straight games against expected Western Conference playoff teams in the Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Clippers, and Golden State Warriors. Tobias Harris has really stepped up this season and is the team’s leading scorer while Reggie Jackson is enjoying a resurgent year and Andre Drummond mans the paint.
The Lakers come into this game looking to push the pace more as both head coach Luke Walton and point guard Lonzo Ball have spoken about. So far the team’s defense has been ahead of its offense which is a surprise considering expectations coming into the season.
It will be up to Brandon Ingram, Brook Lopez, and Ball to get things going as the bench has been impressive. The Lakers will need everyone stepping up in order to come out with a win.
The Lakers starters got off to a much better start than they had been in previous games. Ingram found Nance for a layup and Lopez hit a three-pointer to get things going early, but Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond were tough as the Pistons went ahead 9-5.
The defense got things going for the Lakers as steals led to easy baskets for Nance and Caldwell-Pope who each got off to good starts. Nance got himself a steal and slam to put the Lakers up seven, 21-14 as each starter had a bucket.
The bench came on as Randle got himself a bucket quickly, but had an unfortunate end to the quarter. Ingram turned it over on a questionable backcourt call and the Pistons got a last-second basket on an offensive rebound from Jon Leuer. Nonetheless the Lakers led 25-22 after one.
Caldwell-Pope led the Lakers with seven points while Nance had four points, four rebounds, and two steals in the first period.
The bench unit got the Lakers off to a great start in the second as Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Kyle Kuzma, Corey Brewer, and Josh Hart started off the quarter.
A 13-2 run kicked off the quarter. Randle was the catalyst for the run with three quick baskets and Kuzma added five points as well giving the Lakers a 14 point lead. Detroit would battle back as Jackson and Harris found ways to get baskets while Drummond controlled the glass.
The Lakers defense continued to come up with steals and challenge Detroit on shots, even when the Pistons made them. Ingram and Nance made plays on both ends of the floor, as the Lakers were locked in looking to pull away.
Ingram ended the half excellently with a huge slam on a great drive and followed it up with a great find, after drawing help defense, to Lopez in the corner who nailed the three to end the half. The Lakers led 58-45 going into the locker room with six players having at least seven points.
The teams were pretty even to start off the second half, trading baskets early on. Ingram got the scoring started with a jumper followed by a Caldwell-Pope three-pointer before Ball got going with some solid defensive play and a pair of layups.
Jackson continued his strong play for Detroit and backcourt mate Avery Bradley added in some timely baskets, but the lead never dipped below double-digits. Lopez found Nance with a nice lob pass, and Bradley answered with a layup on the other end, but the Lakers remained ahead by 12 midway through the third.
Defense remained the calling card as Lopez absolutely denied a Harris dunk attempt and a pair of great transiton defense plays from Ingram led to him getting an easy dunk on the other end to keep the Lakers up 13.
Andrew Bogut checked in and gave the Lakers a boost with his rebounding and defense, getting a nice tip-in to keep the Lakers up 14. A tough possession still ended with a great result as Ingram knocked down a challenged three to barely beat the shot clock and give the Lakers an 87-72 lead after three.
The Pistons looked to get back in the game with a couple of quick baskets to start the fourth. A three-point play from Clarkson gave the Lakers their first basket, but Anthony Tolliver responded with a three-pointer of his own as the Pistons climbed to within 11.
The Lakers looked to pull away midway through the fourth led by Randle. He hit tough basket down low, and followed it with a great pass to Kuzma for a three. He would then take one coast-to-coast as the Lakers lead by 16.
L.A. did not let up as they continued to pull away from the Pistons down the stretch. Back-to-back threes from rookies Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma put them up 22 with under five minutes remaining.
Detroit would never come close to making a comeback as the Luke Walton would empty his bench with two minutes left and Ivica Zubac even saw his first minutes of the season. Seven Lakers would score in double-figures as they notched an impressive 113-93 victory over the Pistons.