Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 1/8

Game 1: Tuesday, January 8th
Game 2: Friday, March 22nd

Lakers 121

(25-6, 9-4 away)

Pistons 92

(16-17, 10-4 home)

    8:00 PM ET, January 8, 2002

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAL 26 34 32 29121
    DET 23 19 25 2592

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles: S. O'Neal 28 Pts, 10 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Detroit: J. Stackhouse 27 Pts, 6 Ast, 1 Blk

    Lakers send Pistons to 12th loss in last 14

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Sometimes three quarters are enough for the Los Angeles Lakers to dominate.

    Shaquille O'Neal, who had 28 points, looks for room against Corliss Williamson.

    Shaquille O'Neal scored 28 points, and Kobe Bryant had 20 -- then both sat out the entire fourth period -- as Los Angeles beat the Detroit Pistons 121-92 Tuesday night for its fifth straight victory.

    "We just did what we're supposed to do," O'Neal said. "When we play like that, there aren't too many teams that can play with us."

    The two-time defending champions, who are an NBA-best 25-6, scored from essentially every spot on the floor. The Lakers led by 30 after three quarters and by as many as 35, allowing them the luxury of using reserves for the final 15 minutes.

    Los Angeles outscored Detroit 44-28 in the lane and 19-4 on fast breaks and went 9-of-15 on 3-pointers and 20-of-25 on free throws.

    "We're not playing the scoreboard, or necessarily our opponents," Bryant said. "We're playing ourselves."

    Jerry Stackhouse led the Pistons with 27 points. Detroit (16-17) has lost 11 of 13 games to fall below .500 for the first time since opening night.

    "It's time for me to look hard at the situation and figure exactly where we are," said Rick Carlisle, Detroit's first-year coach. "We started out as a tough-minded team."

    O'Neal played 25 minutes in his third game after missing the previous five with an arthritic right toe. He went 11-of-17 from the field, 6-of-10 on free throws, had 10 rebounds and even made three first-quarter assists.

    "The general's back," O'Neal said.

    Stackhouse agreed.

    "Shaq got going and there literally was nothing we could do," Stackhouse said. "It was men among boys out there."

    O'Neal soaked his feet in buckets of ice after the game and said his injured toe felt good.

    "With the return of Shaquille, we're playing the kind of ball we were playing earlier," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.

    Robert Horry, who missed his only shot in 12 minutes, was the only Los Angeles player not to score. Samaki Walker, Derek Fisher and Mitch Richmond scored 11 points each. Five others scored at least six.

    After warming up with a 26-23 lead in the first quarter, the Lakers turned the game into a rout with 34 points in the second quarter and 39 in the third.

    The Pistons, like most teams, couldn't do much about it.

    Jackson showed some heart by clearing his bench late in the third quarter. O'Neal left the game with 3:40 left in the period, and Bryant departed 23 seconds later -- but it didn't matter.

    In the final 34 seconds of the third quarter, reserve Mark Madsen made a hook shot, Detroit's Zeljko Rebraca missed a layup, and Derek Fisher closed the period with a jumper that gave Los Angeles a 99-69 lead.

    By late in the fourth quarter, not much more than 1,000 fans were left from the original sellout crowd of 22,076.

    "There wasn't much we could do to keep it interesting after the third quarter," Jackson said.

    Los Angeles reached a season high in points. The Pistons hadn't lost by such a large margin or allowed so many points this season.

    "There isn't anything you can say," Detroit's Ben Wallace said.

    Game notes
    Detroit G Dana Barros left the game early in the second quarter with a pulled hamstring. He missed six games this season with the same injury. ... The Lakers won their previous four by an average of 19.2 points. ... Los Angeles lost two of the five games O'Neal missed, including a loss to Toronto, the lone Eastern Conference team to beat the Lakers. ... Three of Los Angeles' six losses are on the second nights of back-to-backs. It plays at Indiana on Wednesday. ... The Lakers have won seven straight against Detroit.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 121 92
    FGM-FGA 46-89 (.517) 30-72 (.417)
    3PM-3PA 9-15 (.600) 7-21 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 20-25 (.800) 25-29 (.862)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-44 9-32
    Assists 27 17
    Turnovers 6 13
    Steals 7 2
    Blocks 3 9
    Fast Break Points 19 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (1/0) 21 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Shaquille O'Neal O'Neal
    Points: 28
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Jerry Stackhouse Stackhouse
    Points: 27
    Reb: 0
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1