EditorsNote: 2nd graf, add “a” before “rookie”; 9th graf, change ‘’an’ to ‘a’ before 13-point advantage
Second-year forward Kyle Kuzma poured in a career-high 41 points in just 29 minutes, and the Los Angeles Lakers rolled to a 113-100 victory over the visiting Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.
Kuzma posted his previous career high of 38 points against the Houston Rockets last season when he was a rookie. He made 16 of 24 field-goal attempts Wednesday, including 5 of 10 from 3-point range, and added four free throws.
The Lakers improved to 3-5 without LeBron James, who hasn’t played since Christmas Day due to a groin injury.
Michael Beasley had 19 points and four assists off the Los Angeles bench. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 15 points, six rebounds and four assists, and Ivica Zubac added 11 points and nine rebounds. Brandon Ingram filled the stat sheet with 10 points, nine rebounds and six assists, and JaVale McGee also scored 10 points.
The Lakers shot 56.1 percent from the field while the Pistons made 44.8 percent of their attempts.
Blake Griffin had 16 points and six assists for the Pistons, who have lost 15 of their past 19 games. Langston Galloway and Reggie Jackson tossed in 15 points apiece. Reggie Bullock chipped in 13 points, and Andre Drummond grabbed 17 rebounds.
Kuzma scored 19 points in the first half as the Lakers established a 55-47 lead.
Los Angeles shot 56.1 percent before the break while holding Detroit to 37.5 percent from the field.
The Lakers used runs of 16-2 and 9-0 during the second quarter to gain a 13-point advantage before the Pistons chipped away in the final minute.
Kuzma’s 3-pointer early in the third gave the Lakers a 65-55 lead. Kuzma made another shortly thereafter to stretch Los Angeles’ advantage to 14. He picked up a loose ball and fired in another 3-pointer to make it 72-57.
Drummond was called for goaltending on a Kuzma shot late in the third, giving Los Angeles an 80-66 lead.
Kuzma surpassed the 40-point mark before the quarter ended with a 3-pointer. The Lakers carried an 89-77 lead into the fourth.
Beasley’s 3-pointer gave the Lakers a 20-point lead with 7:23 remaining.
—Field Level Media