Gameday: Pistons 97, Lakers 98

GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Los Angeles Lakers 32 30 16 20 98
Play by Play Detroit Pistons 27 24 21 25 97

Lakers vs. Pistons
Dynamite Dunk
Beatin' the Buzzer
Lakers vs. Pistons: First Half
1on1: Robert Sacre

Lakers hold on to beat Pistons 98-97


Posted Feb 03 2013 3:42PM

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) Pau Gasol had 23 points and 10 rebounds and was the last line of defense for Los Angeles, contesting Detroit's last-second alley-oop attempt and helping the Lakers hold on for a 98-97 victory over the Pistons on Sunday.

Los Angeles blew an 18-point third-quarter lead but went back ahead for good on Kobe Bryant's driving three-point play with 1:09 remaining.

That gave the Lakers a 98-95 lead, and they held on despite missing four free throws in the final 16.8 seconds.

The normally reliable Steve Nash missed two with 2.7 seconds left, giving Detroit one more chance. Inbounding from midcourt with 1.2 seconds to play, the Pistons tried a lob to rookie big man Andre Drummond, but with Gasol contesting the play, Drummond couldn't convert his one-handed dunk attempt.

Copyright 2013 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

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Points Gasol, 23
Rebounds Monroe (DET), 12
Assists Nash and Bynum (DET), 10
Blocks Drummond (DET), 4
Steals Knight (DET), 3


Mike D'Antoni:

On game:
"These are playoff games for us and I think it feels like it and sometimes weird stuff happens in the playoffs. Obviously we have to do a better job of protecting leads and play like we played when we get the leads.”

On blowing leads:
"Our offense is really getting stagnate. We are putting up 60 to 70 points in the first half and then we have a hard time scoring. A lot of that is the hole we dug for ourselves and without Dwight (Howard) we are not getting some stops that we should be getting."

On Steve Nash missing both free throws:
"I have never seen him miss a shot, but it happens. We have to win so now let’s go to the next road stop."

On team play:
"The first half I thought we played excellent. I thought the ball movement and guys were sharp and even defensively we played well."

Steve Nash:

On late free throws:
“I feel terrible, but I’m a grown man. I just keep playing and keep fighting no matter what happens, but I feel bad that it could’ve cost us the game and that I choked two (free throws) up there. A win is a win, but I take a lot of pride in being a fourth quarter player and making shots, particularly free throws, and I take responsibility there and I didn’t come through for the guys tonight. But luckily it didn’t kill us.”

Pau Gasol:

On losing a big lead:
“Well our defense starts to loosen up. They start getting comfortable, getting a shot here, a shot there, we make a couple turnovers and they get a couple easy ones. All of a sudden they gain momentum, and especially on the road it’s a little more difficult. We just have to stay disciplined, stay focused throughout the 48 minutes if we want to be able to win on the road consistently.”

On Andre Drummond:
“(Drummond) combined with (Will) Bynum’s speed, obviously it frees him up pretty good on those high pick and rolls. So we just weren’t active enough on the weak side, and they get a couple threes, so that loosened up the lane for them too. So it’s tough when he gets a head start and gets a free lane to the rim and then throws it up there, it’s tough to get there.”

Lawrence Frank:

On what was the different in the game:
“The way I look at is the first half of basketball we give up 62 points. You look at the last 27 seconds of the first half, its 57-51 and then you go into the half down 11. Twenty-nine minutes of not really playing the type of basketball we need to play. So, 62 points the first half, we come out the first five minutes of the third quarter, we’re down 18. Then all of a sudden we changed our game. We started moving the ball. We started putting more energy and effort into the game. We hold them in the second half to 36 points. Ten assists on 10 field goals in that third quarter. We put a lot in. The game comes down to we have to be able play more basketball than we did, especially on the defensive end. We were shooting a high percentage, but turnovers were our Achilles heel in the first half. I thought our guys showed great fight and resolve and those guys left it on the floor, but we need to be a more focused, complete team. I was proud of how certain guys bounced back after tough first half’s and came back in the second half, but it’s how we react to our mistakes.”

Will Bynum:

On tough bounces:
"It's tough. I work so hard and I thrive to be in situations like that. To be in there and not deliver is kind of crushing sometimes, especially when my teammates and coaching staff trust me to make the right decisions. It wasn't my night."

On making the right decision:
"I felt like I made the right decision, but to me a loss is a loss no matter how you play. Two points or 50 points, if you lose, everything is for nothing."

On the lob to Andre Drummond:
"It was there. He just didn't get good control of the ball. It was kind of with one hand, and they made a good defensive move at the end."



Posted Feb 02 2013 3:38PM

Kobe Bryant will go down as one of the NBA's all-time leading scorers. The Los Angeles Lakers, though, need their superstar to keep sharing the ball.

With Dwight Howard's status in question, as well as Pau Gasol's spot in coach Mike D'Antoni's rotation, Bryant and the Lakers will try to build off their first road win in six weeks Sunday when they visit the Detroit Pistons.

If he keeps up his current pace of 27.9 points per game, Bryant would need 23 more games to move past Wilt Chamberlain for fourth in league history with 31,420 points. However, it might take Bryant a little longer to achieve that feat as he's scoring just 16.6 per game during the Lakers' 4-1 run. With his new pass-first approach during that stretch, Bryant is taking 12.8 field-goal attempts per game - 8.3 fewer than his season average - while averaging 11.2 assists.

"You're just trying to do whatever it takes to win," said Bryant, who had 17 points, a season-best 12 rebounds and eight assists in a 111-100 victory at Minnesota on Friday.

"Trying to figure things out, even if you're adjusting your game as dramatically as I have, it's just doing whatever it takes to get your team to win."

The Lakers (21-26) improved to 15-4 when Bryant takes fewer than 20 shots and ended an eight-game road losing streak which dated back to Dec. 22. They're now 1-3 without Howard in the lineup after the All-Star center missed Friday's game to receive platelet-rich plasma treatments in his right shoulder.

Howard returned to Los Angeles for that procedure, but he's expected to rejoin the team in Auburn Hills - the third stop on the Lakers' season-high seven-game trip.

If Howard can go, it's uncertain what D'Antoni will do with Gasol, who has not been pleased with being relegated to the bench for the first time in his career. In Howard's place, and starting for the first time in seven games, Gasol finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds Friday.

"It's been a rough season so far, no way around it," Gasol said after his third 20-point game of the season. "Just stay with it, keep playing. You never know when things can change direction."

While a productive Gasol could help the Lakers move up from No. 10 in the Western Conference, the Pistons (18-29) are hoping Gasol's fellow Spaniard will help them improve from 10th in the East.

Jose Calderon, acquired from Toronto on Wednesday in a three-team deal that sent long-time Piston Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye to Memphis, could make his Detroit debut after missing Friday's 117-99 victory over Cleveland due to visa issues.

Coach Lawrence Frank said Calderon, averaging 11.1 points and 7.4 assists, will start at point guard when he's available, pushing Brandon Knight to shooting guard.

"Great player - done a lot of good things over his career, and definitely a big help for us coming in," said Knight, who had 20 points and 10 assists Friday. "We'll get used to playing with one another and see how it works out."

It hasn't worked out well lately for the Pistons in this series. They've lost six of seven after falling 108-79 at Los Angeles on Nov. 4, when the Lakers posted their first victory of the season following an 0-8 preseason and 0-3 start.

Detroit, though, won 88-85 in the Lakers' last visit to Auburn Hills on March 6 even after Bryant's 19-foot fadeaway at the buzzer forced overtime.

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.
Probable Starters .
  #15 World Peace SF #25 Singler  
  #6 ClarkPF #54 Maxiell  
  #16 Gasol C #10 Monroe  
  #24 Bryant SG #3 Stuckey  
  #10 Nash PG #7 Knight  

Lakers Steve Blake
(abdominal surgery) is probable.
Jordan Hill
(torn labrum, left hip/herniated disc) is out.
Dwight Howard
(torn labrum, right shoulder) is day-to-day.

11/04 - DET 79 @ LAL 108
02/03 - LAL @ DET

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