Video Credit: NBA

FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Pistons – Game 14

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (4-10) | Detroit Pistons (3-14)

 

Anthony Davis led the way, and Dennis Schröder and Thomas Bryant were welcomed back as the Lakers secured a 128-121 win at home against the Pistons.

 

Lakers vs Pistons
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Max Christie entered health & safety protocols earlier in the week during a rare four-day break and was listed as out for this one. Juan Toscano-Anderson was also out for the Lakers’ game against Detroit due to mid-back soreness. LeBron James, due to an adductor strain, was listed as out for the Lakers. James missed his third straight game against the Pistons.

The starters for the Lake Show were Patrick Beverley, Austin Reaves, Troy Brown Jr., Lonnie Walker IV, and Anthony Davis.

Marvin Bagley III started things off by scoring a post-shot over Davis. Brown Jr. cut inside and scored while also drawing the foul, adding the free throw to give the Pistons a 6-5 lead to start. But Walker IV sank two free throws to take the lead.

The Pistons, already very short-handed in the frontcourt, saw Bagley III get his 2nd personal foul just 2 minutes into the game. That brought Jalen Duren in. The 19-year-old rookie was the first NBA player born after James debuted in the NBA in 2003.

Reaves then produced a solid series of buckets, starting with a three from the wing, a transition layup after his defensive board, and then a charge drawn as he helped the Lakers to a 12-8 early lead.

Bojan Bogdanovic then hit a fadeaway jumper. Russell Westbrook responded by scoring inside through traffic and drew the foul, but he wasn’t able to convert the free throw. 

The first timeout was called as the Lakers led the Pistons 15-14. It wasn’t a bad start as they took advantage of some early Detroit foul trouble.

Westbrook then found Walker IV on the cut and he was able to score inside. Alec Burks responded with a three. The rare 4-day stretch without a game gave the Lakers time to practice drill their zone defense, which they hadn’t utilized before this game. They were in it the last few possessions.

The Lakers were trailing 22-20, as Westbrook found Brown Jr. on a drive and kicked for three. The Pistons were aggressively trapping Davis, which just got Brown Jr. that wide-open three that he hit to put the Lake Show up 23-22.

Davis also drew several fouls, with four Pistons with 2 personal fouls a piece: Bagley III, Killian Hayes, Duren, and Nerlens Noel.

Then there were three straight trips where Laker guards drove directly into Pistons’ traffic and missed shots without getting the ball to Davis. Detroit scored in transition each time to go up 31-23. Davis, with only 1 shot attempted and 6 free throws attempted, got a touch on the next trip, and drew another Pistons foul.

After one quarter the score read, Pistons 37, Lakers 30. The Lake Show started well but their defense failed them toward the end of the quarter. They allowed 11 fast break points to Detroit, many coming off missed shots on Lakers drives, helping the Pistons, who shot 60.9% overall.

Darvin Ham then deployed 3-guard lineups. With Beverley, Kendrick Nunn, and Dennis Schroder all in at the same time. It wasn’t the best idea as the Lake Show began to falter.

Having more rest is supposed to be an advantage in the NBA. The Pistons played the night before, and the Lakers hadn’t played since Sunday. But that long layoff seemed to have the Lake Show out of rhythm, especially as they tried to integrate two rotation players that had been hurt in Schroder and Thomas Bryant.

Wenyen Gabriel then got a slam that gave some momentum to the Lakers resulting in a score of Detroit 51, Los Angeles 44. Westbrook then threw the lob up and Bryant threw it down. Gabriel got the ball in the corner, faked the three, and drove inside to convert for two. The Lakers were only down by 3 now.

The Lake Show received a nice bench lift from both Gabriel and Bryant after Davis played the 1st quarter as the lone big. The Lakers cut a 13-point lead down to 3 with 4:15 to play in the 1st half. Westbrook then dished to Davis for a three-point opportunity. He had eight dimes to his name at that point.

Hayes came into this game having made only 8 of 35 threes on the season (22.9%), after shooting 26% last season. He was underlooked on the scouting report. Yet he was 3 for 3 from three.

 

With a big dunk in transition, and then a buzzer-beating three, Walker IV helped the Lake Show leave the first half with a 68-64 lead, despite trailing by 13 earlier in the half. 

 

The Laker lead was 82-76 as they headed into a time-out, with the second technical foul of the quarter on the Lake Show, due to the antics of Beverley and Davis. Reaves and Beverley bounced back to make back-to-back threes as the Lakers remained hot at 59.2% from the field and 50% from three.

Westbrook loves bullying guards and he got the best of Hayes again. But a 4-point play from Burks cut the Laker lead to 3. The Lakers led 94-86 with 2:30 left in the 3rd quarter, before allowing a 9-2 run to close the period. They were up by just 1 with 12 minutes to play. At the end of the third quarter, Lakers 96, Pistons 95.

Detroit outscored the Lakers in the third despite important contributions from Gabriel: 5 for 5 from the field and the free throw line for 15 points with 7 boards in 14 minutes.

Then some ladies in the front row got a real close look at Reaves who came crashing into them. Reaves then had a mini stint where he looked like he did in the regular season finale at Denver last season, carrying the offense for three straight trips to score six points. Reaves had the Lake Show up 104-97 with 9:04 left.

Then there was a five-point possession for Detroit after an and-1 layup from Hamidou Diallo turned into a flagrant foul on Bryant, giving the Pistons an extra possession they used for a Bogdanovic jumper. The Lakers lead was down to 2.

Reaves drew a foul after a nice pass from Davis, putting the Lakers in the bonus. Pistons went on a 9-6 run to cut the Lakers lead to just four, 110-106.

Lakers vs Pistons
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

It was also interesting to see Schroder and Bryant get crucial fourth-quarter minutes in their first game of the season. There were flashes of the first quarter as the Lakers continued to pressure the rim and take advantage of being in the bonus.

That led to a new season high in free throw attempts tonight for the Lake Show, at 36, with 5 minutes to play. They made 31, for a healthy 86.1% rate. Davis led the way, with 14 makes in 17 attempts.

Two great dimes from Walker IV on back-to-back possessions and the Lakers took their biggest lead of the night. A timeout was called with the Lakers leading 118-108. Following a Detroit bucket, Davis got the ball inside and threw it down with authority

The Lake Show salted this one away, and that was all she wrote. The final score read Lakers 128, Pistons 121. The Lakers improved to 4-10, winning their second straight game. Doesn’t sound like much, but this was a game they needed.

Key Takeaways

 

Lakers vs Pistons
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Davis led the Lakers with 38 points (10 of 16 overall, 18 of 21 free throws), 16 rebounds, and 4 blocks, his second straight game with 37+ points and 16+ rebounds. Six other Laker players scored in double figures. Reaves was big tonight, with 16 points on 8 shots, plus six assists without a turnover. Westbrook facilitated in this one with 10 points, 12 assists, and five rebounds. Walker IV had 17 points.

The Pistons shot 32 free throws to the Lakers’ 40 free throw attempts.

Burks led the Pistons in scoring with 23 points on 5-8 shooting from three. Bogdanovic produced 20 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Jaden Ivey put up 17 points, four rebounds, and five assists. Hayes finished with 18 points on 4-6 from three and nine assists.

Ham told reporters after the game that Davis getting to the free throw line as much as he did was “wonderful.” Ham also added, “He’s been a force for us all year and tonight was no different.”

Ham also told reporters that Bryant was “huge” for the Lakers and Schroder gave the team “stability” at the guard position. Ham was pleased to have some “extra bodies” out there with those two back.

 

The Lakers will stay at home and take on the San Antonio Spurs. They’ll face off Sunday, November 20th, at 6:30 p.m. at the Crypto.com Arena. The game will be available on Spectrum SportsNet, NBA League Pass, and Bally Sports Southwest.

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– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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