Lakers double down on Pistons in 113-93 win
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers showed what they can accomplish when they add some extra desire to their depth.
The Lakers had seven players score in double figures, shot 49.5 percent from the field and never allowed the Detroit Pistons back within single digits in the second half of a 113-93 victory at Staples Center on Tuesday night.
“I don’t think we’re going to play that great every night,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “But it shows that our team is capable of being a very good basketball team when we’re really playing together and playing for each other and playing hard.”
Julius Randle scored 17 points, and fellow reserve Kyle Kuzma added 16 for the Lakers (3-4). Larry Nance Jr. contributed 14 points and 12 rebounds, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball scored 13 apiece, and Jordan Clarkson finished with 10.
Reggie Jackson and Tobias Harris scored 18 points each, Ish Smith had 12 off the bench, and Andre Drummond finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Pistons (5-3).
Detroit was coming off back-to-back wins against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday and the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.
The Clippers were the last unbeaten team before Detroit rallied from 13 points down in the third quarter to win 95-87. The defending champion Warriors were up by 14 in the third quarter before losing to the Pistons 115-107.
The Lakers took their biggest lead to that point at 60-45 on Ingram’s bank shot on the first possession of the third quarter, and his desperation 3-pointer with two-10ths of a second left ended the quarter and extended the lead back to 15. Between those baskets, the Pistons never got closer than 10 points.
Los Angeles kept the Pistons at a distance in the fourth quarter as well.
“They dominated us,” Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Their energy, they were better at both ends, they played harder, and they played sharper. It was a humbling experience for our guys, and it certainly was for me.”
The Lakers led by as many as 14 in the second quarter before taking a 58-45 lead into the break.
The second unit helped extend a three-point lead at the start of the second quarter. Kuzma had seven points and Randle added six in a 13-2 run that gave the Lakers a 38-24 advantage.
“They played extremely hard and extremely well, and I want to make sure it’s clear that I‘m giving them a lot of credit and not just talking about how bad we played,” Van Gundy said. “They got after it. They did exactly what we tried to prepare our guys for.”
The Pistons managed to get back within nine twice in the second quarter, but Brook Lopez sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer to push the advantage back to 13.
Los Angeles showed its balance in the first half, as six players had from seven to 10 points.
“It all starts with effort and caring about wanting to get better,” Walton said. “Our guys have both of those traits as a group and individuals, and it’s not easy to play like that.”
The Lakers used a 7-0 run to take their biggest lead of the opening quarter at 21-14.
Detroit grabbed six offensive rebounds in the first quarter, the last leading to a put-back by Jon Leuer with one second left that cut the deficit to 25-22 entering the second, but the Pistons wouldn’t get any closer.
“Disappointing that we weren’t mature enough to be ready to play this game,” Van Gundy said. “Hopefully, we learn from it.”
NOTES: Lakers F Larry Nance recorded his third double-double of the season and 13th of his three-year NBA career. ... Lakers C Brook Lopez was 3 of 31 from 3-point range in his first eight seasons in the NBA before going 134 of 387 last season (34.6 percent). He was 2 of 6 from 3-point range on Tuesday and is 7 of 27 (25.9 percent) for the season. ... Pistons C Andre Drummond had his 234th career double-double, second most since he entered the league in 2012-13 behind DeMarcus Cousins of the New Orleans Pelicans (235). ... Detroit F Tobias Harris went 2 of 7 from 3-point range and is 21 of 48 (43.8 percent) from beyond the arc through the first eight games.