The Detroit Pistons look to finish off a three-game California excursion with their fourth consecutive overall win when they visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. The Pistons posted a pair of eight-point victories over the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors and are enjoying a strong start to the campaign.
Sunday’s 115-107 victory over the Warriors on the second night of a back-to-back was an impressive accomplishment for Detroit, which knocked down 12 3-pointers and connected on all 17 free-throw attempts. “It means a lot,” forward Tobias Harris told reporters afterward. “Two games versus two very good teams. The morale in the locker room is great right now. We’re embracing each other. We’re enjoying it. We’re having fun and that’s the biggest thing.” The Lakers aren’t finding much enjoyment after back-to-back defeats, including setting a season low for points in Saturday’s 96-81 road loss against the Utah Jazz. Los Angeles rookie point guard Lonzo Ball is experiencing more downs than ups while shooting 31.1 percent from the field and scoring in single digits in five of six games.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBATV, FSN Detroit, Spectrum SportsNet (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE PISTONS (5-2): Coach Stan Van Gundy always keeps the pressure ratcheted up on his players and that remained the case while the club was celebrating its victory over the defending NBA champions. “It’s great and I’m not downplaying it. These two wins are great but it truly is two of 82,” Van Gundy told reporters, also referencing the win over the Clippers. “We’re seven games into an 82-game season, 75 to go. These guys should be very, very happy (Sunday night). And then (Monday) you’ve got to start getting yourself ready to play again.” Shooting guard Avery Bradley was certainly ready against the Warriors as he established season highs of 23 points and five 3-pointers during an effort that raised his average to 15.4.
ABOUT THE LAKERS (2-4): Ball is averaging 10 points, 7.7 assists and 7.5 rebounds but is an abysmal 10-of-41 shooting over the past four games. The No. 2 overall pick of the 2017 draft had more turnovers (five) than assists (four) while scoring nine points on 3-of-10 shooting against Utah as he and his teammates struggle to find their offensive flow. “We are still trying to find our identity,” Ball told reporters after the Utah loss. “We are trying to run and some of the possessions are getting caught in the half court and we are just standing. So it comes with practice. We have to figure it out in practice and transition to the game.”
1. The Pistons have won the past three meetings after losing 12 of the previous 13.
2. Los Angeles C Brook Lopez has failed to reach double digits in three of the past four games.
3. Detroit C Andre Drummond has at least 12 rebounds in all seven games and is averaging 12.9 points and 14.4 boards.
PREDICTION: Pistons 103, Lakers 99