Plenty of storylines surrounded Sunday’s clash between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Detroit Pistons. Among them, the second chapter of the newly-born LeBron James-Isaiah Stewart rivalry.
But the Lakers’ Big 3 made sure their fine performance against the Pistons would dominate the headlines after they fired L.A. to a convincing win over the visiting Pistons.
James scored 32 points, shooting 4-for-9 from behind the 3-point line, and Russell Westbrook chipped in 25. Both also showed off their playmaking skills, dishing out 18 of the Lakers’ 32 assists.
Meanwhile, Anthony Davis added 24 points, ending the game 2-of-2 from beyond the arc despite converting just 17% of his triples this season.
The Big 3’s performance overshadowed Jerami Grant’s effort to harm the Lakers just like he did last week, scoring a team-high 32 points.
Grant was red-hot straight from the tip-off.
After Westbrook got L.A. on the board by splitting a couple of free throws, the Pistons ace engineered Detroit’s 7-0 run with two buckets of his own and a dime to Stewart for a layup.
That prompted head coach Frank Vogel to call his first timeout about two-and-a-half minutes into the game.
The Lakers managed to tie the game instantly following the break. James and Davis got going after throwing down a flashy dunk each. Soon after, Davis hit a rare 3 to open the night with seven points.
Los Angeles struggled from beyond the arc in the first period, ending it 2-for-8 from deep after Westbrook hit another triple. However, Davis carried the Lakers early on, finishing the quarter with 13 points and a number of good defensive plays to his name.
Also, Austin Reaves came on the floor after missing the previous 10 games with a hamstring injury.
The Purple and Gold took a 23-21 lead heading into the second period.
The game remained a close contest for another six minutes of the game. Then, the Lakers briefly jumped seven points ahead thanks to James’ second triple of the night. But Grant kept punishing L.A., causing damage in the paint and from distance.
The Pistons regained the lead briefly thanks to the forward’s 16 first-half points.
However, the Lakers Big 3 took over as the break approached. The All-Star trio secured a 51-48 lead for L.A. at halftime — and then continued its domination after the break.
L.A.’s biggest lead came after James sunk a couple of 3s and dished out two brilliant dimes to Davis and DeAndre Jordan, which they both finished with tasty alley-oop dunks. Halfway through the third quarter, the Lakers went on a 16-0 run and led 72-56.
After falling into foul trouble in the second quarter, Talen Horton-Tucker joined the show. The 21-year-old’s triple and a couple of layups helped the Lakers enter the final 12 minutes with an 83-70 lead.
The Pistons’ 3-point shooting had kept Detroit in the game — and then allowed the visitors to bring the game back within six points.
Trey Lyles, Frank Jackson, and Cade Cunningham all connected from downtown in the fourth, capitalizing on L.A.’s vulnerable perimeter defense. But the Pistons’ offense slowed down toward the end of the clash and, unlike the Lakers in Detroit last week, failed to pull off a comeback victory away from home.
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