(Ty Nowell/Los Angeles Lakers)
3-Point Line Costs Lakers in Loss to Detroit
In the Motor City, the Lakers’ 3-point shooting once again stalled out, as a season-long issue cost them another shot at a win.
The Lakers made only six triples, hitting a paltry 24.0 percent beyond the arc. It was hardly a dent compared to the 17 treys on 43.6 percent splashed by the Pistons, who won 111-97.
On the second night of a back-to-back, the Lakers also found themselves shorthanded with six players out, including LeBron James (load management).
Yet they still managed to own the interior battle, outscoring Detroit in the paint, 54-28. Flint, Michigan, native JaVale McGee was at the heart of this, leading the Lakers with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Fellow Flintstone Kyle Kuzma served him many of his opportunities with a career-best 10 assists.
Alex Caruso put up 16 points, matching his young career-high that he set the night before. Rajon Rondo pieced together 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
And Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (17 points) had the moment of the night, posterizing 7-foot-1 Thon Maker on a fast-break slam.
But L.A.’s work inside the arc couldn’t mask its poor performance outside of it.
Shooting has been an issue all year, as the Lakers’ 33.1 3-point percentage is second-worst in the NBA. It’s been even worse in the month of March, slipping to a league-low 27.6 percent, while they have won just one of eight games.
“We missed a lot of wide-open shots that we had,” Caldwell-Pope said. “Could have gave us a lead.”
Poster giveaway in Detroit! pic.twitter.com/CsPoVMDUs0— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 16, 2019
The Lakers arrived in Detroit at 4 a.m. the morning of the game. … Langston Galloway (23 points) and Andre Drummond (19 points, 23 rebounds) led the Pistons. … The Lakers aggressively double-teamed Blake Griffin, who shot just 3-of-12 but had nine assists. … Mike Muscala (four points) started in place of James.