LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Lakers played up to -- and
beyond -- some formidable opposition.
Kobe Bryant scored 40 points, Lamar Odom had 24 points and 10
assists, and the Lakers took a 105-94 victory Saturday night over
the Detroit Pistons, who have the NBA's best record.
"It was a big win for us and a win that we don't usually get,
against a great team like Detroit," Bryant said. "It's probably
the biggest home win of the year for us.
"We got great play from Lamar, who really is a big key for us
when he comes out and plays this well and brings a lot of bounce to
The Lakers ended a four-game losing streak to the Pistons, as
they stormed back from a 10-point deficit with an 18-0 scoring
spree that began late in the third quarter.
They scored the final 12 points of the period for an 80-78 lead,
then added six points in a row to start the fourth for an
eight-point pad. The Pistons went more than 6 minutes without
Odom sparked the Lakers' outbreak with nine points, but said
offense wasn't the key.
"Defense, making every shot hard for them," he said of that
stretch. "When you play team defense, you give yourself a chance
to beat anybody. Hopefully this is a confidence-booster for us."
Detroit coach Flip Saunders said the Pistons lost some composure
during the Lakers' burst.
"They got a run, we got undisciplined. We were looking for the
home-run shot instead of doing the best thing that we do, and
that's execute offensively," Saunders said. "We were playing 45
feet from the basket with no dribbles."
The NBA's best travelers this season, the Pistons lost for just
the ninth time on the road, but for the second time in four nights
including a defeat at Denver. The game was their fourth on the road
this week, including a stop in Seattle on Friday.
"There are really, really signs of fatigue," Billups said.
"It's not having enough energy to take it to the basket and take
that pounding. Instead, it's taking the shots that might be halfway
Bryant played tight defense on Billups in the second half, and
Kwame Brown, who finished with 10 rebounds, did the same on
"Billups got a lot of things from broken plays," Bryant said
of the Detroit guard's first-half scoring. "Some of the shots he
made were very difficult, and he still made them. In the second
half, we just wanted to crowd him a little bit, keep him out of the
"Kwame came in and did a great job on Rasheed, just being
physical and trying not to give him any air space. Some of the
shots they made in the first half, they didn't make in the second
Bryant sat out the final 4:33 of the opening half after picking
up his third foul. He had 17 points by then, and the Pistons were
up 44-42. Billups scored seven of his 20 first-half points in the
last minute before the break as Detroit opened a 58-51 lead.
Bryant wasn't called for any fouls in the second half.
With both teams moving the ball and shooting well in the first
quarter, Bryant scored 15 to help Los Angeles to a 32-29 lead at
the end of the period. Wallace had 12 points for Detroit, making
both his 3-point shots and finishing the quarter 5-of-5 from the
Odom pitched in with nine points and five assists for the Lakers
in the opening 12 minutes.
The teams split their season series 1-1. Detroit won both
games last season, the first time the Pistons had swept the series
since 1991-92 and only the second time ever. ... Los Angeles has
never lost five straight to Detroit, and the Pistons have not won
two in a row on the Lakers' court in nearly 13 years.