Gameday: Lakers 108, Pistons 79

GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Detroit Pistons 13 21 21 24 79
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 34 28 24 22 108

Team Highlights: Arena Link: Dwight Howard | Nightly Notable | Play of the Day | Block of the Night | Layin' It In |
            Bryant to Howard | Slammin' It Home | Morris to Howard

Lakers top Pistons 108-79, finally get 1st win


Posted Nov 05 2012 12:14AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Dwight Howard scored 28 points, Kobe Bryant had 15 points and eight assists, and the Los Angeles Lakers finally got their first victory of the season, 108-79 over the winless Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.

Metta World Peace scored 18 points and Pau Gasol added 14 for the Lakers, who went 0-8 in the preseason and started the regular season 0-3 for just the fourth time in franchise history despite adding Howard and Steve Nash over the summer.

The Lakers' growing worries about their new offense and their roster's durability vanished for a day against the struggling Pistons, who never led.

Jonas Jerebko scored 18 points for Detroit in the second stop on a difficult six-game road trip.

Los Angeles took a 28-point lead in the first half and stretched it to 36 points in the third quarter, with Howard dominating the paint and Bryant slipping easily into a playmaking role in the injured Nash's absence.

The Lakers earned their first victory in nearly five weeks together since the start of training camp, and they occasionally resembled the powerhouse most expected to see this season - even if it's without Nash, who missed his second straight game with a small fracture in his left leg.

Howard excelled in the paint against Greg Monroe, hitting 12 of 14 shots - most of them right at the rim - and grabbing seven rebounds with just one foul. Bryant appeared to play easily on his sore foot, taking just 10 shots and grabbing seven rebounds.

The Lakers' starters played only token minutes in the fourth quarter, giving them valuable rest before Wednesday's trip to Utah.

The Lakers began the regular season by dropping games to Dallas, Portland and the Clippers, but they've only started a season 0-4 once in franchise history - and that was in 1957, back in Minneapolis. Los Angeles hadn't even started a season 0-3 since 1978 - but that team won 15 of its next 16 games.

While the Lakers wait a week to learn the severity of Nash's injury, Steve Blake had six assists and a career high-tying five steals in his starting spot. Backup Darius Morris also played well with six points, but Gasol and Bryant are likely to be the Lakers' most important playmakers until Nash returns.

Detroit's five starters all struggled mightily, going a combined 11 for 39 - including Brandon Knight's 1-for-8 performance. Rodney Stuckey's shooting slump reached three games, with the starting guard going 0 for 6 to drop to 1 for 23 this season.

The Pistons also might wonder if the NBA's schedule-makers used Apple Maps to plot the schedule: Detroit must travel to Denver for a game Tuesday, only to return to California to face the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday before heading back out to Oklahoma City.

The Lakers looked energized from the opening tip against Detroit, with Howard and Gasol repeatedly demanding the ball down low against Jason Maxiell and Monroe. Los Angeles closed the first quarter on a 23-5 run, with Gasol and Howard combining for 21 points.

Bryant embraced a role as the facilitator of Los Angeles' offense, racking up eight assists in the first half while his teammates thrived.

Howard might be feeling more confident with his surgically repaired back, getting 20 points and six rebounds in the first half while giving Lakers fans their first look at the aggression and ball sense that made him a superstar in Orlando.

NOTES: The Lakers hadn't started 0-3 at home since 1959. ... Lakers assistant coach Darvin Ham played on the Pistons' 2004 championship team, which upset the Lakers in the NBA finals. ... Flea,, Andy Garcia and Jeremy Sisto attended the game.

Copyright 2012 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

View More Photos

Points Howard, 28
Rebounds Bryant/Howard (LAL), 7
Drummond/Monroe (DET), 7
Assists Bryant, 8
Steals Blake, 5
Blocks Gasol/Howard, 3


Mike Brown:

On getting the victory tonight:
“Obviously we needed a win, dropping three in a row, and not winning in the preseason made it a little tough. What it does more than anything else, especially winning the way we did, defending the way we did first of all, and playing the way we did offensively with great spacing, great ball movement, scoring out of the system. You look at the points some of these guys had, and I’m sure they’ll tell you, they scored probably easier than any other time they’ve played the game because they got it within the system. It gives us a little belief, and every win that we get gives us a little bit more belief on both ends of the floor.”

On if Steve Nash being hurt makes the team need to rely on the system more:
“To a certain degree, Nash is so creative with the basketball whenever he has it in his hands. He can get guys easy baskets at any given time. Blake can too, to a certain degree, but I’m not fooling anybody, Blake is not Steve Nash. It puts pressure on us defensively and it puts pressure on us to move the ball, move bodies and continue to try to execute and be discipline within the framework of what we’re trying to do offensively."

On Kobe getting eight assists tonight:
“I think it’s a combination of the threat that he is offensively first of all. But then, when you watch his play, a lot of times last year when he had the ball everybody was standing and watching, standing and watching, standing and watching. If you watched him play these four games, even up in Portland I thought offensively we were very good, minus our turnovers and second chance points, that’s where we lost that game. But, if you think back even to Portland, Kobe was getting backcuts for layups and dunks, he was getting open threes, he was getting curls for open jumpers right in the lane. We’re moving him around and while we’re moving him around it’s not like everybody is standing around watching Kobe. Other guys are moving too, so it’s hard to tee off on one guy when he has the ball because we have everybody moving. If you try to tee off on a guy, when you look back at your man he’s gone, and he might end up getting a wide open layup or dunk.”

On the job his team did defensively:
“I mentioned when I came in that I thought on both sides of the ball, we did a great job. We were very discipline, organized, and in-tune to what we were supposed to be doing. Defensively I thought we were pretty good, could we have been better, yes, there’s room for improvement on both sides of the floor, but defensively our guys for one of the first times in this early season played the game for as close to 48 minutes as possible. They communicated, they helped one another, and in pick and roll situations they were in the correct spot. They gave multiple effort, I could go on and on with the things that we did right on that end of the floor, which helped us. Detroit probably missed a few shots too, but it helped us play the game that we played on the defensive end.”

Steve Blake:

On the game:
“It’s that feel good feeling. Now were ready to move forward. We see some things that work for us and we’ve got to stick to them.”

Metta World Peace:

On the game:
“We had some great plays from the point guards today […] as a team we stick together. Play hard, stick together.”

Pau Gasol:

On the game:
“We did a lot of things that were positive and we can build on those things and be consistent on both ends of the floor.”

“What I liked a lot was the way we started the game. We set the tone early. We composed ourselves and established ourselves and that helped a lot because we build on that. And that falls on the starting five a lot I think in my opinion.”

“We have to start off games this way. Set the tone on both ends of the floor. Just playing hard, just being hungry, aggressive, and hopefully getting that early lead.”

Kobe Bryant:

On getting the first win of the season:
“I think it’s more of a relief for mike than it is for anybody else. We’re good. It feels good, we did what we were supposed to do. It feels good to see what we’ve been working on come in fruition out there during the game.”

On the offense tonight:
“I think our rhythm was a little bit better, we talked about it being a process and we just did a much better job with our understanding and how to execute.”

Dwight Howard:

On getting the first win of the season:
“It feels so good. My first win here, it feels good for all of us. It was a little frustrating after the first 3 losses but we kept our composure, I think for the most part and we got a good win tonight.”

On tonight's performance:
“For the most part it was pretty good. We understand it’s going to be a process and we just kept playing and tonight we got a good win. I think our turnovers were key tonight, we didn’t turn the ball over as much as we did and that’s what caused us to get the big win.”

On floor spacing:
“We did a good job of keeping the floor spaced, we played inside-out tonight, and we got Pau going early. He’s very aggressive and Metta was very aggressive, which is good. We all got to attack the basket and it works out well when we do.”

Lawrence Frank:

On the team's overall performance:
“It was total domination. I think our second unit at least played. They didn’t play mistake free, but played very, very hard at least where the Lakers had to sub back in [Dwight] Howard and Kobe [Bryant]. But their first 15, 16, 17, 18 points where right in the paint and they weren’t even straight post ups, they were two feet in the paint shooting 62 percent. They scored 80 points basically in the first 32 minutes of the game constantly taking the ball to the net because they were either scoring, or getting to the free throw line. So, very disappointing by and large.”

On the team’s energy:
“Everyone should have energy and effort. Everyone on the team should be able to play and compete. If you can’t play with 100 percent effort you shouldn’t start, or come off the bench. It’s the responsibility of each guy to give maximum effort. That’s the job description.”

On guard Rodney Stuckey:
“Obviously he’s struggled. We need him to play better. He’s been dealing with some physical problems, but we need better from everyone. Look, in the first two games obviously we did some good things to at least have a lead in those games but tonight it was a TKO.”

On the team moving forward:
“We’ve combed through this thing very, very closely, and we also have a vision for this team in terms of where we want to go. We know this is a building group. It’s unacceptable to get your doors blown off, but we did, and yet we know we’re a young building group. There’s a big disparity right now between us and the Lakers, now there’s no excuse acceptable to not come in because in all that second unit did today, they just played hard. To me they left it all out there, they’re sitting in the locker room and they got nothing left and that’s what everyone should be doing.”

Jonas Jerebko:

On the disappointment of tonight:
“Too many easy baskets, too many open shots. It’s hard to come back from the Lakers being up 20 in the first game. We just have to do a good job and play together and get this game in Denver on Tuesday.”

On second unit chemistry:
“We’re just trying to share the ball. We don’t really care about scores we just let the ball do the work. Just giving a lot of energy out there, it doesn’t matter who is out there we’re just trying to play hard. We played decent today but it still didn’t help so it doesn’t matter.”

On putting this game in the rear view mirror:
“We just have to try and forget about this game and look forward to Denver on Tuesday and try to get a win.”

Tayshaun Prince:

On first unit chemistry:
“We did not come out with the energy we wanted to come out with. We don’t say to ourselves we’re not going to come out with the energy. We always come out and come to the game with the right intent. I think we just have a team that, when teams make a run on us, we get down and frustrated as opposed to playing through it.”

On Rodney Stuckey's performance in the first three games:
“Whenever a player is struggling whether it’s shooting the ball or not doing what they usually do, it’s up to the team and our coaching staff to get involved and try to find a way for him to get out of it. We’ve got to do a better job of that.”

Andre Drummond:

On going up against Dwight Howard:
“It was all love but I was going at his head the whole time. Every night there’s no friends on the floor so I tried my hardest, pushed him around a little bit. I tried to play physical with him and after the game I shook his hand. We’re still cool but we’re enemies on the floor. It was fun playing against him because he played hard.”

On what he takes away from going up against one of the best in the game (Dwight Howard):
“I definitely feel like I got a lot better today. I’ve got to get a base to try to and stop him from moving and I think I got that defensively guarding the post cause I figured my way around to try and stop him from scoring.”

Kyle Singler:

On the one thing they aren’t doing that they would like to be doing:
“Just our consistency. We play well in stretches but we have big gaps in games where we just don’t play well, whether we’re tired, we just got to play through things. Just know we aren’t going to play perfect basketball and just keep on playing for the whole game.”

On finding rhythm on the court together:
“I think so, I think the group on the bench play as well. We have good chemistry together, we complement each other well and Will does a nice job of running the show for us.”

Pistons-Lakers Preview


Posted Nov 03 2012 5:28PM

Despite a star-studded cast, the Los Angeles Lakers are off to their worst start in 34 years.

Hoping to avoid their first 0-4 start since the franchise moved to Los Angeles, the Lakers will again be without Steve Nash on Sunday night when they host the Detroit Pistons.

Nash, who totaled nine points and eight assists in the first two games, sat out Friday's 105-95 loss to the Clippers with a bruised leg. The Lakers announced on Saturday that the 38-year-old point guard has a small fracture in his left leg and will be out for at least another week.

The addition of veteran stars Nash and Dwight Howard to a lineup that already included Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol made Los Angeles a popular preseason title pick. The Lakers still might hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy in 2013, but must overcome the team's first 0-3 start since 1978.

The storied franchise has not lost its first four games since opening with seven straight defeats in 1957 when located in Minneapolis. The Lakers have not started 0-3 at home since 1959.

"We need a win, obviously," coach Mike Brown said. "I'm not trying to fool anyone here."

Los Angeles opened with a 99-91 home loss Tuesday to a Dallas team minus injured star Dirk Nowitzki. Despite 33 points from Howard and 30 from Bryant, the Lakers fell 116-106 at Portland the next night.

Against the Clippers, Bryant scored 40 in 42 minutes and Howard was held to 13 while battling foul trouble for the third straight contest.

"It's particularly hard for me, because I'm not the most patient individual in the world," said Bryant, who has averaged 30.7 points on 61.4 percent shooting while nursing a sore foot. "But you have to be. You have to stay persistent. You have to stay committed to what you're doing, and just keep on trucking."

Though the Lakers have shot 49.8 percent, they've committed 59 turnovers and are giving up 106.7 points per contest in three games.

"It's not acceptable for us to be losing like this, but we will come in and we will work harder," guard Steve Blake told the Lakers' official website.

A visit from Detroit (0-2) could help Los Angeles get back on track. Though the Lakers had their five-game winning streak against the Pistons end with an 88-85 overtime road loss March 6, they've won the last two at Staples Center by a combined 38 points.

Gasol has averaged 22.0 points in his last three games versus Detroit.

Trying to avoid a third straight 0-3 start, the Pistons opened a six-game trip with a 92-89 loss to Phoenix on Friday. Tayshaun Prince scored 18 points while Brandon Knight added 13 with 10 assists. Detroit held an 11-point lead with 7:51 to play in the second quarter but was outscored 26-7 the rest of the half. The Pistons shot 41.1 percent, including 4 of 13 (30.8) from 3-point range.

"It definitely can (be frustrating) if you let it get to you," Knight told the Pistons' official website of the team's poor shooting. "The good teams, they don't allow that to hinder what they do offensively or defensively. They just play."

Veteran guard Rodney Stuckey has totaled 10 points on 1-of-17 shooting and has missed all six of his 3-point attempts through two games, but went 13 of 20 from the field for 34 points against the Lakers in March.

Copyright 2012 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
(strained & bruised right foot) is day-to-day.
Jordan Hill
(herniated disc) is probable.
Steve Nash
(lower left leg contusion) is doubtful.

Pistons Corey Maggette
(left calf strain) is day-to-day.

Game 1: 11/4 - DET @ LAL
Game 2: 2/3 - LAL @ DET

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