Anthony Davis sat out due to a quad contusion and the Los Angeles Lakers never managed to gain enough traction in a 107-92 loss to the Detroit Pistons. The defeat was the Lakers’ second in a row, marking the first time this season they have lost back-to-back games.
The Pistons jumped out to a 9-4 lead behind Blake Griffin, but the Lakers quickly responded after Dennis Schroder converted an and-1 opportunity. LeBron James caught fire from beyond the arc, hitting a trio of 3s to put Los Angeles up 20-16 midway through the quarter.
The lead bounced back and forth between the two teams for a bit as no one was able to string together stops, but Detroit eventually went on a 16-4 run to capture the momentum. Los Angeles was able to narrow the deficit on a James layup to close the period, but they went into the second trailing 34-31.
Montrezl Harrell was active around the basket per usual, but the results were uneven as he lost the ball on a couple of possessions. James picked up where he left off after hitting his fourth 3-pointer and Talen Horton-Tucker eventually followed up with a pair of 3s of his own.
The Lakers finally got locked in defensively and forced the Pistons into several tough shots. However, Detroit managed to rally and keep the game close. In an up and down first half, L.A. went into the locker room up 58-56.
Kyle Kuzma kicked things off the in third with a tough 3 on the move, and later tied up the game with an easy layup off a made basket. However, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had a rough sequence where he missed an easy look at the rim and then committed a flagrant foul on Mason Plumlee.
Outside of Kuzma, the rest of the Lakers struggled to score, which allowed the Pistons to retake the lead. Alex Caruso provided a spark with much-needed baskets, but Los Angeles found themselves trailing 82-78 after three.
Horton-Tucker gave the Lakers another lift to begin the fourth quarter with an impressive finish around the rim, a dish to Harrell, and then another triple to bring them within one. Despite that, the Lakers were unable to get over the hump as the Pistons answered each time.
Wayne Ellington’s hot shooting continued as his fifth 3-pointer of the game put the Pistons up by 11 with under five minutes remaining. L.A. remained cold on offense and their defense also suffered, allowing Detroit to continue pulling away.
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