Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/17

Game 1: Wednesday, November 17th
Lakers103Final
Pistons90
Game 2: Tuesday, January 4th
Pistons83Final
Lakers108

Pistons 83

(11-24, 3-16 away)

Lakers 108

(24-11, 12-5 home)

    Coverage: FSW

    10:30 PM ET, January 4, 2011

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    DET 19 23 17 2483
    LAL 24 21 31 32108

    Top Performers

    Det: G. Monroe 14 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

    LAL: P. Gasol 21 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Pau Gasol's 21 points power Lakers past Pistons

    Associated Press

    LOS ANGELES -- There was a bad buzz building around the Los Angeles Lakers heading into Tuesday night's game against the Detroit Pistons. They had lost four of six, and Kobe Bryant had a message for his teammates.

    "I told the guys, 'Listen to how everyone is talking about you. You have to use it as fuel for motivation,'" he said.

    They heard him.

    Pau Gasol scored 21 points and the Lakers finally found a sub.-500 team they could beat easily, winning 108-83 against the struggling Pistons.

    Andrew Bynum finished with 13 points, teaming with Gasol to give the Lakers a 60-40 edge in the paint. Lamar Odom had 16.

    Bryant added 17 points, moving him past Dominique Wilkins into 10th on the NBA's career scoring list with 26,671.

    "That's a great honor," said Bryant, who cited Wilkins' dunks and jumping ability as his favorite things to watch as a kid.

    Tracy McGrady and Greg Monroe scored 14 points each, and Tayshaun Prince added 12 for the Pistons, who lost their fifth straight to the Lakers and fell to 3-16 on the road.

    "I'm baffled," Detroit's Ben Wallace said. "They made plays and they made shots, and we didn't. We turned the ball over, and they got on the break. And when they get on the break, they start feeling good about themselves and their shots go in."

    The Lakers had lost three of their previous four home games. They had mixed results against their previous two sub.-500 opponents, barely beating Philadelphia 102-98 before losing to Memphis 104-85. Before that, they lost by 19 to Milwaukee and by 16 against Miami, both at home.

    Odom cited the Lakers' commitment to playing defense as the difference between winning and losing their previous game, to Memphis.

    "It's important for us to maintain our focus, especially on the defensive end," he said. "It's early; we just continue to play, take our time. The playoffs aren't tomorrow."

    Lakers coach Phil Jackson has a greater sense of urgency.

    "We have to really turn it around," he said. "One game is not the end of this situation."

    But the Lakers had an easier time against the Pistons, even if it took them an entire half to get going.

    The Lakers took control in the third quarter after stumbling through a poor-shooting first half. Bryant was 4-of-15 with nine points at the break, after going 0-for-9 in the opening quarter.

    "It didn't mean a whole lot," Wallace said of Bryant's early struggles. "Kobe's going to keep coming, he's going to keep shooting and eventually he's going to get some points. He didn't move up to 10th all-time by not being able to score the basketball."

    Ron Artest was 1-of-4 and Derek Fisher 0-for-2, but they consistently got the ball inside to Gasol and Bynum.

    Bryant keyed a 16-2 run to open the third with six points, hitting two free throws after going 1-of-4 from the line in the first half and finishing Artest's steal with a fast-break driving dunk. His driving layup sent him past Wilkins and extended the Lakers' lead to 61-44.

    "We played with more intensity," Bryant said. "We played a motivated game defensively. Those things combined into the kind of blowout game we had."

    From there, the Lakers cruised to a 76-59 lead heading into the fourth, in which they were similarly dominating at the start. Shannon Brown scored seven points in a 13-2 run that made it 89-61.

    Game notes


    The Lakers swept the Pistons for the second straight season, having won 103-90 at Detroit. ... The Pistons are 0-for-8 in the second game of back-to-backs. ... The Lakers are 5-2 in the first game of back-to-backs, with the second game coming Wednesday night in Phoenix. ... Tom Hanks made a rare courtside appearance, while David Beckham went solo.

    (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    Team Stat Comparison

     
    DET
    LAL
    Points 83 108
    FGM-FGA 32-72 (.444) 42-89 (.472)
    3PM-3PA 3-13 (.231) 6-17 (.353)
    FTM-FTA 16-24 (.667) 18-22 (.818)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-37 13-41
    Assists 22 29
    Turnovers 19 6
    Steals 4 7
    Blocks 2 4
    Fast Break Points 6 19
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (1/0) 20 (4/0)
    Largest Lead 2 29

    Top Performers

    Detroit
    Los Angeles
    Greg Monroe Monroe
    Points: 14
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Pau Gasol Gasol
    Points: 21
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1

    Research Notes

    The Lakers recent struggles have been well documented... In 6 games entering Tuesday they were outscored by 8 points per game while going 2-4. Tuesday they won by 25 as they took great care of the basketball, committing just 6 turnovers.
      [+]

    ESPN Stats & Information