Russell Westbrook dribbles up the court

Three Things to Know: Lakers at Pistons - 11/21/21

by Matthew Barrero

The Lakers (8-9) have lost three-in-a-row for the first time this season after Friday’s loss in Boston. Tonight, they’ll face a Detroit Pistons (4-11) team who is coming off a competitive three-point loss to the Golden State Warriors. The action starts at 3:00 p.m. PT and will be televised on Spectrum SportsNet.

Here are three things to know heading into tonight’s contest:

TEAM COHESION
LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook have played just seven games together and hold a record of 4-3. While LeBron’s return sparked the Lakers to appear more rejuvenated, at least in the first half of Friday’s loss to the Celtics, Westbrook spoke about the team’s lack of urgency due to still missing some key pieces (i.e., Trevor Ariza, Kendrick Nunn and Austin Reaves) and not having played together on a consistent basis.

“Nobody’s winning anything right now,” Westbrook said. “When we get our team together and playing and get a better rhythm, that will come as the season goes along, and that’s that.”

As the new kid on the block, Westbrook came into this season understanding the need to develop a connection with his new star teammates while also having a role to step up in the absence of aforementioned teammates.

The team as a whole is still trying to find a way to mesh together, and Westbrook emphasized the fact that the new faces wearing purple and gold need some more time to integrate.

“I think the reality of it is that everybody on the outside has really high expectations of our team, as they should.” Westbrook said. “But the reality of it is we haven’t really played with each other.”

SUNDAY BEST
In three games played on a Sunday this season, the Lakers are a perfect 3-0 with victories over Memphis, Houston and San Antonio. The Lakers as a franchise enter today’s contest holding an overall record of 798-439 (a win percentage of 64.5) the best in NBA history, averaging 106.2 points per game.

Since March 24, 2019, the Lakers are 23-7 in games played on a Sunday. While they have played every Sunday match at home this season, L.A. has won 8 out of the last 11 road games played on a Sunday.

Detroit on the other hand has an overall record of 445-423 (a win percentage of 51.3) good for fourth best in NBA history, averaging 101.2 points per game.

Since Feb. 2, 2018, the Pistons are 8-22 and have won only seven out of 17 times when playing a home game on a Sunday. Detroit has played in just one Sunday matchup so far this season, a 117-91 loss in Brooklyn.

The last time the two teams played on a Sunday was Jan. 5, 2020, a 106-99 victory for the Lake Show in Los Angeles.

BIG 360 VS DETROIT
LBJ, AD and Russ and have played in a combined 2,858 career regular season games. Over the course of their careers, the trio have played the Pistons a total of 94 times.

-James has played Detroit 58 times
-Davis has played Detroit 13 times
-Westbrook has played Detroit 23 times

Based on their career stats listed on StatMuse, both LeBron and Russ have the lowest points per game average against Detroit. James is averaging 24.0 points and Westbrook is averaging 19.0 points.

Conversely, Davis is averaging his second-best points per game against Detroit with 28.0 points (just 0.2 shy of his career best against Charlotte).

In the Lakers last game against the Pistons, L.A. won the Feb. 6 contest, 135-129, in double overtime. LeBron finished with 33 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and four steals while Davis added 30 points, five rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

Westbrook last faced Detroit while donning a Washington Wizards uniform and in 121-100 victory, he recorded his 171st career triple-double with 15 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists, as well as two steals.

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