Lakers Gameday | 12/20/09 | Pistons

Box Score
Play by Play

1 Field goal missed by Andrew Bynum in a 7-of-8 performance for 16 points, plus seven boards, three blocks and two assists.

6 Steals for Ron Artest to lead the Lakers, who collectively played the role of thief all evening, finishing with 15 team swipes. Kobe Bryant added five steals of his own to the effort.

19 Points scored by the Pistons in both the first and second quarters. Without Richard Hamilton, Ben Gordon and Tayshaun Prince, perhaps Detroit’s three best scorers, the going was tough.

22 In direct relation to No. 6 above, the Pistons committed 22 turnovers on the evning, to 15 by the Lakers.

25 First half free throw attempts by the Lakers in one of the slowest periods of the season. The Lakers made 19, including five each from Gasol and Artest, while the Pistons managed just 7-of-13.

Mike Trudell, Lakers.com

Lakers-Pistons Running Diary
Phil Jackson Pre-Pistons

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  • GAME RECAP
  • QUOTES
  • GAME PREVIEW
  • INJURY REPORT
  • GAME NOTES

Bryant scores 28 points, Lakers beat Pistons 93-81

By LARRY LAGE

Posted Dec 20 2009 8:43PM

AUBURN HILLS, Mich.(AP) Kobe Bryant scored 28 points and helped the Los Angeles Lakers build a big lead in a 93-81 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.

The Lakers took the lead with an 11-0 run midway through the first quarter, started the second ahead by 12, had an 18-point lead at halftime and a 21-point cushion after three quarters.

Los Angeles closed a trip with a four-game winning streak and an NBA-best 22-4 record.

Rodney Stuckey scored 16 points, Swedish rookie Jonas Jerebko had 15 and rookie reserve Austin Daye added 10 points for the Pistons.

Three of Detroit's best players wore sportcoats: Richard Hamilton, Ben Gordon and Tayshaun Prince.

The Lakers, though, didn't have much sympathy because travel woes led to them getting to their Detroit-area hotel at 4 a.m. Sunday after beating the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night.

Bryant looked more awake late in the first quarter when the Pistons allowed him to rebound his own missed free throw by simply taking one step forward to get the bouncing ball and making a jumper for a 22-13 lead.

Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson seemed to be resting Bryant, Ron Artest and Pau Gasol for the final quarter, but put the trio back in with 5 minutes left and a 15-point lead.

Bryant likely gave Jackson what he was looking for, hustling to make a steal a couple minutes later and scoring on a layup.

Detroit pulled within eight points with 1:45 left, but Jackson called a timeout and Bryant made a shot, the Lakers made a stop and Gasol a layup to make it 93-81.

Detroit has lost four straight after winning five straight.

Andrew Bynum scored 16 points, Artest had 14 points and nine assists and Gasol added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers.

Artest's recent comments about Ben Wallace added intrigue about the matchup, but it ended up being very uneventful.

Artest said he was still ready to fight Wallace - the player who shoved him on the play that started the 2004 brawl with Pistons, Pacers and fans at The Palace - in a Sporting News interview.

Before the game, Artest said he doesn't have a problem with Wallace or anyone in Detroit.

Artest was often booed when he had the ball, but that was the extent of the jeering while he and Wallace showed no signs of animosity on the court.

NOTES: The Pistons were without Hamilton (right hamstring), Gordon (left ankle) and Prince (back) because of nagging injuries. ... Bryant was called for a technical early in the second quarter, arguing about a call that didn't go his way. ... Larry Foote and Dewayne White of the Lions had front-row seats at the game, which started less than 2 hours after a loss to Arizona. ... The Pistons had won five straight at home.

Copyright 2009 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited




L.A. LAKERS HEAD COACH PHIL JACKSON:

(On the game)
“The first half the bell was answered. I told them at halftime this is one of the poorest-quality games that I've played or coached in. Everything seemed funny about the game tonight. 25 free throws in the first half. It was a slow-moving game. Very slow. The second half I was very disappointed that we couldn't execute in the fourth quarter. I had to bring the starters back in to save the game.”

(On their East-Coast road trip)
“We wanted to get out on the road and get our feet underneath us and see how we play on the road. I think we did ok. Other teams that we played against had about .500 winning percentage so I knew we had a good chance to get through this.”

(On Ron Artest)
“That was a good game by Ron. There were people that played well; Lamar (Odom) played well, he got into foul trouble but he played well. There were some people that played ok that did a good job. Ron was particularly outstanding by his ball-hawking and his stealing the ball.”






L.A. LAKERS FORWARD LAMAR ODOM:

(On the bench)
“The way we ended that game, we didn't really like it. We talked about the way the bench has got to play and the way we just ended that game; I hate that. That's one of my pet peeve's. We're up 20 and we have to have Kobe (Bryant) come back into the game.”

(On their energy)
“This team is focused. We've got great synergy. We've got collective energy. Everybody was feeling good, even though we were tired, we just did things together.”

(On their defense)
“Our defense wasn't that good. We allowed them to get easy lay-ups, easy jumpers and it put the pressure on our offense. We have to control the game a lot better.”




 

L.A. LAKERS FORWARD RON ARTEST:

(On the team)
“I felt good. As a team we felt good. We're playing well right now so we're just going to try to continue to keep playing good ball.”

(On how he feels in L.A.)
“It's fun being in L.A. It's fun having a chance to win. It's fun playing for Coach Phil Jackson. Actually my first game I ever saw was Detroit versus the Bulls. I was young. I know B.J. Armstrong was playing. That's why I like B.J. Armstrong. He was the first NBA player I saw score. I remember that. That's a great reason to be in the NBA. I'm playing with Kobe (Bryant). I'm playing with Lamar Odom, who I grew up with. All I'm doing is playing basketball.”






DETROIT PISTONS HEAD COACH JOHN KUESTER:

(On turnovers)
“They were the aggressor tonight and that is the bottom-line. They were the team that attacked us, opposed to us attacking them. It is interesting that no matter whether you are playing the Lakers or you are playing some other team, the aggressors usually get the calls and are the team that normally wins. At times, we were aggressive, but we have to learn how to be more aggressive for 48-minutes.”

(On game)
“We just weren’t the aggressors. There is a saying that don’t play defense after the catch, play defense before the catch. That is something that we have to become better at, and I know that we were shorthanded, but we have to understand how we have to play defense and how our body language has to be for the entire 48-minutes. And we’ve done that at times, but we just didn’t do that consistently tonight.”








DETROIT PISTONS GUARD CHUCKY ATKINS:

(On the game)
“I think you take tonight as a game to learn from. They came out there being aggressive, taking things away from us offensively, making us catch the ball further away from the basket than normal. Just taking things away from us, and that’s what good championship teams do to teams. What we have to do is learn from this and get ready to the next game.”

(On the game)
“They were trying to keep us on one side of the court, forced us baseline and use their length to steal passes and things of that nature. Like I said, certain situations, certain plays that we ran I know that they were trying to keep the ball out of my hands, to deny as much as they can to get the ball back to me or forcing me set picks on Kobe (Bryant) so that they can switch. Like I said, teams are going to take away things from you. You got to learn to adapt throughout the game and came out with the ways to get easy baskets. With teams that are so long, you make those guys to miss, you got to get out and get easy baskets. They did everything right tonight.”


 





Lakers vs. Pistons Game Preview

By SANTOSH VENKATARAMAN

Posted Dec 20 2009 12:25AM

After losing the most difficult contest of their five-game road trip, the Los Angeles Lakers have taken advantage of inferior teams from the Eastern Conference to win the next three.

The Lakers will try to complete the trip with another victory Sunday night when they look to sweep the Detroit Pistons for the first time in eight seasons.

Los Angeles (21-4) has built the best record in the NBA partly thanks to a favorable schedule with 17 of its first 21 games at home. This five-game trip was the Lakers' first extended road swing.

It got off to a bad start with a 102-94 loss at Utah last Saturday, but the Jazz are the only West opponent in this stretch. Los Angeles improved to 9-0 against teams from the East with a 103-84 victory over lowly New Jersey on Saturday.

Kobe Bryant posted one of three double-doubles for the Lakers with 29 points and 10 rebounds. Pau Gasol had 14 and 14 and Lamar Odom added 14 and 12.

The Lakers trailed at the half for the third time on this trip before scoring 57 points after the break to improve to 6-2 on the road. Los Angeles beat Chicago and Milwaukee - two more losing teams - before arriving in New Jersey for Saturday's game.

"The schedule favored us," coach Phil Jackson said. "These teams are not .500 teams and Utah is a very good team on their home floor, so some of it has to do with the competition. But I think we played a little bit better."

The Pistons (11-15) have lost three straight and represent another struggling, sub-.500 team.

Winning both games against Detroit, however, is something the Lakers have not done since 2001-02. Los Angeles lost nine straight - including postseason - at the Palace of Auburn Hills before a 92-77 win March 26 behind Bryant's 30 points.

The Lakers took advantage of a Pistons team that played without Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton on Nov. 17 for a 106-93 home victory. Bryant scored 40 - two shy of his season high.

Los Angeles could be facing a team that is even more short-handed Sunday. Prince (back) and Hamilton (hamstring) remain out and Ben Gordon has missed the last six games with a sprained left ankle.

The Pistons fell 109-98 at Oklahoma City on Friday despite a season-high 31 points from Rodney Stuckey.

"Rodney's had a wonderful start and stuff like that but we need him to lead. ... He's a very gifted offensive player, but we have to generate things, with being short-handed, from everybody," coach John Kuester said. "Not just Stuckey, everybody has to take ownership of how we defend and even if you don't make the right play, your body language tells you whether you're ready to react the way we want you to, and that's all I'm asking."

The Pistons have won five straight at home overall, but are 3-10 against West opponents.

Copyright 2009 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited






Lakers
Kobe Bryant
(avulsion fracture, right index finger) is probable.
Luke Walton
(pinched nerve, back) is out.

Mavs

Ben Gordon (sprained left ankle) is questionable.
Rip Hamilton
(sore right hamstring) is out.
Tayshaun Prince
(small ruptured disc – lower back) is out.













SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers currently lead the season series with Detroit 1-0, after splitting last season’s series with Detroit 1-1 for the second consecutive year. This will be the 200th meeting between the Pistons and Lakers with Los Angeles holding a 130-69 advantage. The Lakers are 4-6 in their last 10 overall contests with Detroit. At home, the Lakers are 8-3 all-time against the Pistons at STAPLES Center. In Detroit, however, the Lakers are just 4-6 in their last 10 overall games and 1-6 in their last seven trips to the Palace of Auburn Hills, snapping a six-game losing streak with a 92-77 victory 3/26/09 last season. Prior to the six-game losing streak, the Lakers had won nine straight regular season games in Detroit from 1993-2002. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 12-7 against Detroit (1-4 in the postseason). In 24 career games including 20 starts against the Pistons, Kobe Bryant is averaging 23.5 points. In their most recent meeting on 11/17/09, Bryant matched a personal high of 40 points against Detroit, marking the 100th 40-point game of his career. Furthermore, in that contest Phil Jackson passed Larry Brown for 5th on the NBA’s all-time coaching win list. On 2/8/07, the Lakers were held to a series low 78 points in Detroit, breaking the old mark of 81 points established 2/10/05 at Detroit. The Lakers and Pistons have met five times in the postseason since the Lakers moved to Los Angeles, six including their time in Minneapolis, with the Lakers going 4-2 in those meetings but just 1-2 in NBA Finals. Piston’s center Kwame Brown played 136 games for the Lakers from 2005-08, averaging 7.4 points and 6.2 rebounds during that span. His last game as a Laker was against the Pistons before being included in a trade that brought Pau Gasol from Memphis to the Lakers. Piston’s guard Chucky Atkins played one season with the Lakers (2004-05), averaging 13.6 points and 4.4 assists in 82 games while shooting .387 (176-455) from behind the 3- point line. Piston’s forward Tayshaun Prince (Dominguez HS) played high school basketball locally in the Los Angeles area while forward Chris Wilcox was teammates on the Clippers with Lamar Odom back in 2002-03.

DOUBLE-DOUBLES FOR EVERYONE
In the Lakers 103-84 victory December 19 at New Jersey, Kobe Bryant (29 points, 10 rebounds), Pau Gasol (14 points, 14 rebounds) and Lamar Odom (14 points, 12 rebounds) all posted double-doubles, marking the first time since the 2007-08 season that three Lakers have posted double-doubles in the same game. In the 2007-08 season, three Lakers posted double-doubles in the same game three times, most recently March 4, 2008 at Sacramento (Bryant (34 points, 10 rebounds), Gasol (31 points, 10 rebounds) and Odom (19 points, 12 rebounds). Earlier that season, Bryant (24 points, 11 assists), Odom (22 points, 12 rebounds) and Kwame Brown (10 points, 11 rebounds) each posted double-doubles January 29, 2008 vs. New York, while Andrew Bynum (10 points, 10 rebounds), Chris Mihm (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Odom (18 points, 10 rebounds) all recorded double-doubles November 9, 2007. Prior to the 2007-08 season, three Lakers had not posted double-doubles in the same game since March 27, 2005 vs. Philadelphia (Bryant (34 points, 10 rebounds), Mihm (17 points, 11 rebounds), Caron Butler (13 points, 10 rebounds).

GASOL CRASHING THE BOARDS
With six straight double-doubles and 104 rebounds over his last six games, Pau Gasol is currently enjoying the best six-game rebound stretch of his career. With 78 rebounds from 12/11-12/16 (20 rebounds 12/11 vs. Minnesota, 20 rebounds 12/12 at Utah, 16 rebounds 12/15 at Chicago, and a career-high 22 rebounds 12/16 at Milwaukee), Gasol recorded the best four-game rebound span league-wide since Marcus Camby had 79 rebounds over four games in January 2009. Furthermore, with 26 points and 22 rebounds 12/16 at Milwaukee, Gasol became the first Laker to record a 20pt/20reb game since Lamar Odom posted 23 points and 21 rebounds 3/24/08 at Golden State. Prior to that, the most recent Lakers player to record a 20/20 game was Shaquille O’Neal in 2004.

Lastly, with 20 rebounds 12/12/09 at Utah and 20 rebounds 12/11/09 vs. Minnesota, Pau Gasol became the first Laker to record 20 rebounds in consecutive games since Lamar Odom posted 22 rebounds 3/23/08 vs. Golden State and 21 rebounds 3/24/08 at Golden State. The only other Laker to record back-to-back 20-plus rebounds in the past thirty years is Vlade Divac, who did so 2/24/95 vs. Charlotte (24 rebounds) and 2/25/95 vs. Los Angeles Clippers (20 rebounds). Prior to that, the most recent Lakers player to post consecutive 20 rebound games was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (20 rebounds 1/24/78 vs. Philadelphia, 21 rebounds 1/27/78 vs. Milwaukee).

40-POINT GAMES
Kobe Bryant scored 42 points 12/15/09 at Chicago, marking the 101st time in his career that he has scored 40+ points in a game and the 5th time this season, surpassing his total for all of last season (4). Bryant’s 46 points February 1, 2008 at Toronto moved him past Elgin Baylor (88 40+ games) for 3rd all-time and into 1st in Lakers franchise history. In the history of the NBA, only two players have more career 40-point games: Wilt Chamberlain (271) and Michael Jordan (173). The Lakers are now 70- 31 all-time in games that Bryant scores 40+ points and are 5-0 in such games this season. Bryant holds the Lakers franchise record for 40-point games in a single season, recording 27 during the 2005-06 campaign. Bryant also holds the franchise record for most consecutive 40-point games (9), established during the 2002-03 season, which is tied for the fourth longest such streak in NBA history (Michael Jordan) behind Wilt Chamberlain, who twice posted streaks of 14 and once had a 10-game streak.

LAKERS RECENT 11-GAME WIN STREAK TIES FOR NINTH LONGEST IN TEAM HISTORY
The Lakers saw their recent 11-game win streak come to and end in a 102-94 loss in Utah on 12/12. With their victory over the Timberwolves December 11th, the Lakers won for the 11th straight time, further surpassing their longest win streak from a season ago when the Lakers strung together 7-straight victories on three occasions, most recently from 1/30/09 – 2/10/09. The Lakers victory over the Jazz December 9th marked the 24th time in franchise history that the team has put together a 10+ game win streak (20 in Los Angeles, 4 in Minneapolis). The Lakers last 11-game win streak came during the 2003-04 season from March 13 – April 2, 2004. The Lakers have not won 12 straight games since a streak of 19 consecutive victories from February 4 – March 13, 2000, part of a 19-game streak that ranks as the 2nd longest in team history.

ARTEST REACHES 10,000 CAREER POINTS AND 2,000 CAREER ASSISTS
With 16 points and one assist December 12 at Utah, Ron Artest scored his 10,000th career point and dished his 2,000th career assist. Furthermore, the Lakers now have four players with over 10,000 career points (Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest). The only other teams in the league with four or more players with 10,000 career points are San Antonio with five players (Tim Duncan, Michael Finley, Antonio McDyess, Tony Parker, Richard Jefferson), Dallas with four players (Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Jason Terry) and Boston with four players (Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Rasheed Wallace).