(Reuters) - The Los Angeles Lakers finally resembled the team many expected they would be as they blasted the Detroit Pistons 108-79 on Sunday to end their early-season slide.
The Lakers had begun the new season 0-3 for the first time since 1978, a shocking development for a team who acquired All Stars Dwight Howard and Steve Nash in the off-season.
On Sunday, however, they shook off the rust against the Pistons as Howard scored a game-high 28 points, Metta World Peace added 18 and Los Angeles quickly dominated by grabbing a 21-point lead after the first quarter.
”We weren’t perfect, but I think everybody got a little taste in terms of what (we) can be like,“ Lakers coach Mike Brown told reporters. ”I‘m really excited about the direction of where we can go.
“We’re just barely scratching the surface.”
The chemistry problems that had plagued the Lakers, who include Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant, in previous games was not an issue as they tallied 27 assists.
Bryant had eight assists to go along with 15 points and seven rebounds.
After scoring 40 in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, Bryant played the role of facilitator.
“They obviously saw how I played last game and they tried to cut down my lanes a little bit,” Bryant said.
“I was able to hit my guys and they made shots.”
The Lakers were again without Nash, who will miss at least a week with a left leg fracture.
Jonas Jerebko led Detroit with 18 points off the bench but they fell to 0-3 on the season.
The Pistons shot just 35 percent and trailed by as much as 36 in the third quarter.
Los Angeles, on the other hand, seemed to be hitting on all cylinders and kept everyone involved.
Gasol added 14 points and Jordan Hill came off the bench to add 11 and seven rebounds.
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury