Kobe Bryant took advantage of smaller defenders all night, scoring a game-high 33 points, with nine rebounds, and four assists in just under 32 minutes of action. Pau Gasol dominated the worst-rebounding team in the league in the paint, with 25 points and 12 rebounds, and Lamar Odom added 15 points and 14 boards. The Lakers outrebounded the Pistons 55-41.
In a microcosm of the Pistons’ season so far, guard Richard Hamilton was ejected with two technicals just five minutes into the game, after he picked up two early fouls guarding Kobe Bryant. Discipline and internal battles have been a recurring theme for Detroit, as they continue to unravel on the court.
The Lakers took advantage of the Pistons’ woes, jumping out to a 59-45 lead halftime. The lead ballooned to 78-52 late in the third quarter, as the NBA champs showed no mercy in piling up the points. The final score was not indicative of how one-sided the game really was, as the Pistons made it respectable against the end of the Lakers’ bench in the fourth quarter.
The Pistons were led by Rodney Stuckey’s 18 points. Tayshaun Prince had 13 points, and Austin Daye added 12. Nobody else on the squad tallied more than eight points.
The Lakers held the Pistons to a miserable 39.3% from the field, including 4-16 (25.0%) from the 3-point line. The only bright spots for the home team on the stat sheet were that they only committed just five turnovers, and held the league’s highest-scoring team to 103 points. The Lakers have now beaten the Pistons three straight times in Detroit, after dropping the previous six there.
The Lakers conclude their three-game road trip on Friday in Minnesota. The Lakers have already beaten the Timberwolves once this season in Los Angeles, but it was a struggle in a 99-94 win back on November 9.