Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/14

Game 1: Friday, November 14th
Game 2: Tuesday, November 18th

Pistons 89

(5-4, 2-3 away)

Lakers 94

(7-2, 4-0 home)

    Coverage: FSW

    7:30 PM ET, November 14, 2003

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    DET 20 25 22 2289
    LAL 26 19 22 2794

    Top Performers

    Detroit: C. Billups 29 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Blk

    Los Angeles: S. O'Neal 21 Pts, 15 Reb, 8 Ast, 3 Blk

    Shaq has 21 points, 15 rebounds

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Shaquille O'Neal took over at winning time.

    With the Lakers nursing a three-point lead, O'Neal grabbed a defensive rebound, was fouled and made two free throws with 20 seconds remaining Friday night to lead Los Angeles to a 94-89 victory over the Pistons.

    He finished with 21 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists.

    Kobe Bryant, involved in a rift with O'Neal just before the season began, was very complimentary.

    "He woke up tonight," said Bryant, who had 16 points. "I think somebody started talking trash to him and got him excited a little bit.

    "He draws so much attention and he's a great passer. So when he gets attention like that, he's very skilled at dropping off passes and it makes everybody's job easier."

    The victory was the Lakers' 19th in a row at Staples Center, stretching back to last February -- their longest streak at home since they won 24 straight at the Forum during the 1987-88 to 1988-89 seasons.

    Gary Payton and Karl Malone added 16 points apiece. Malone, playing with a sore left hamstring, also had nine rebounds.

    Payton agreed that O'Neal turned it on late in the game.

    "He sleepwalks sometimes for three quarters. That's his game. Then, when he comes to you and he says, `I'm woke now,' that's when you give him the ball," Payton said. "And that's what he did.

    "He said he's woke, and he started getting fouled a lot. So he started getting really upset and started playing. Right in the middle of the fourth, he said, `I'm woke now, give me the ball."'

    O'Neal finished 7-of-17 from the floor and 7-of-11 from the line.

    Chauncey Billups had 29 points for the Pistons, who lost their third in a row. Elden Campbell added 12 points and was in foul trouble throughout.

    O'Neal's late free throws gave the Lakers a 92-87 lead. A pair of free throws by Payton capped the Los Angeles scoring.

    Billups regretted taking the off-balance, 3-point shot that wound up in O'Neal's hands.

    "It was a miscalculation by me. For some reason, I thought the clock was down a lot farther than what it was, and took that bad shot," he said.

    The shot was the third in a row of that possession, with the Pistons getting offensive rebounds off the first two misses.

    Detroit coach Larry Brown liked the hustle, but not the final shot.

    "That was silly, to waste an effort like that, and not be disciplined enough to do the right thing, because we wasted an unbelievable effort," Brown said. "You hope you learn from it."

    Campbell gave Detroit its first lead of the night with his driving layup that made it 51-49 early in the second half. The Pistons went on to lead 57-51, but Malone's 15-foot jumper evened it again at 58 with 3{ minutes left in the third quarter.

    Game notes

    Bryant had attended a 12-minute procedural hearing Thursday in Eagle, Colo., where he is charged with felony sexual assault. A trial date has not been set. Coach Phil Jackson said the Lakers are "just happy with what Kobe can give us; what he can do on a given night, for his energy on the court. We're not expecting a whole lot, therefore what he does give us, we're thankful for." Jackson added, "They are looking for a speedy trial, but that's not going to happen, obviously. So we'll just have to play it out." ... Detroit plays at Phoenix on Saturday night, the Pistons' third back-to-back set of the season. ... The Lakers placed F Slava Medvedenko on the injured list with a bruised left heel. Jamal Sampson replaced him on the roster.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 89 94
    FGM-FGA 37-87 (.425) 36-76 (.474)
    3PM-3PA 2-10 (.200) 1-6 (.167)
    FTM-FTA 13-13 (1.000) 21-29 (.724)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-36 12-41
    Assists 22 18
    Turnovers 15 19
    Steals 8 11
    Blocks 8 6
    Fast Break Points 5 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 28 (0/0) 22 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Chauncey Billups Billups
    Points: 29
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Shaquille O'Neal O'Neal
    Points: 21
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 3