is a running diary of L.A.’s Tuesday night game against Detroit as the
Lakers looked to get back in the win column, with some comments drawn
from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:
Lakers: Fisher, Bryant, Artest, Gasol and Bynum
Pistons: B. Gordon, T. McGrady, T. Prince, C. Villanueva, B. Wallace
6:43 The steady of improvement of Andrew Bynum continued early in
Tuesday’s game, as the 7-footer made his first four shots, all in
close, to reach eight points for the Lakers. Pistons center Ben Wallace
simply couldn’t deal with Bynum’s length, but the 23-year-old did pick
up his second foul moments later, bringing Lamar Odom into the contest.
Bynum has been working with assistant coach Chuck Person on establishing
low-post position particularly on the weak side of the floor when the
ball is on the strong side, and is seeing fruitful results despite
minimal field goal attempts.
2:00 While Bryant couldn’t get his shot to fall, missing his
first five attempts, he was effective in full-on dish mode. His fifth
assist of the period came on a pretty drop off pass to Gasol, as the
Lakers amassed 18 points in the paint much to their coaches’ pleasure.
0:00 The Lakers finished the first quarter with a 24-19 lead
despite shooting only 38.5 percent, thanks largely to their six
offensive rebounds and zero turnovers. That allowed the Lakers to
attempt twice as many shots, making Detroit’s 53.8 percent shooting
matter little. It was a solid all-around quarter of basketball despite
the poor shooting from Bryant in particular (0-for-9, with several shots
rimming out) after one of the more interesting pregame sessions
we’ve had this year, featuring Phil Jackson addressing a practice
confrontation with Ron Artest and Mark Cuban’s calling Jackson Lakers VP
Jeanie Buss’s "Boy Toy.”
10:56 Bynum didn’t have a chance to carry his early rhythm from
the first quarter into the second, as he picked up his third personal
foul almost immediately and went to the bench for the rest of the half.
Get ready for big minutes from Pau Gasol…
9:22 Gasol, who’d finish the half with 13 points and six
rebounds, both highs for the game, put the Lakers up 10 by converting
two free throws. The Spaniard’s production from a scoring standpoint has
been down of late, mostly because he took nine shots or fewer in three
of the team’s previous five games, three of which were losses. He took
eight in the first half, making five, a good indicator that L.A. was
focusing on getting Gasol more opportunities.
1:47 The Lakers finally turned the ball over for the first
time, but then forced Detroit’s ninth TO on the opposite end in a game
they still controlled, leading 43-37. The Pistons trimmed that lead in
half at the break (45-42), using Rip Hamilton’s second three off the
bench of the period to stay within range.
10:30 Artest hit the first shot of the game, a three from the
corner, and added the first shot of the second half by dropping another
triple. Derek Fisher followed with one of his own, his first make of the
game, to put the Lakers up nine points.
6:43 With the Lakers up comfortably, we saw a moment of NBA
history, on a driving hoop through traffic as Kobe Bryant became the
NBA’s 10th all-time leading scorer with 26,668 career points, surpassing
Dominique Wilkins. Earlier this season, Bryant surpassed John Havlicek
for 11th, and if he continues at his current scoring pace, he’ll move
all the way up to 6th on the all-time list.
0:28.5 Artest concluded a terrific quarter for the Lakers with
a fastbreak dunk off his steal, producing a 31-17 edge in the period to
take command of the game with a 17-point lead. Bryant reached 17
points, eight assists and seven rebounds, and Gasol 21 points with seven
assists to pace the home team.
9:09 During Monday’s practice, Phil Jackson put his players
through a tough running drill known as "82′s”, in which the Lakers have
to make 82 layups in a certain number of minutes, otherwise be forced to
do the drill again. Apparently, it worked out pretty well, since the
Lakers sprinted past Detroit in transition throughout the evening to the
tune of a 19-2 edge in fast break points after Steve Blake and Shannon
Brown converted three layups in a two-minute stretch, pushing L.A.’s
lead to 89-61.
7:00 The lead kept growing, as Odom followed his three-pointer
with three free throws after drawing a foul on a three-point attempt,
making it a 29-point Lakers lead. Odom checked in with 16 points, seven
boards and four assists at that point, while Brown and Blake had
combined for 15 bench points of their own.
3:29 Trying to continue to provide some intrigue for the fans
in a blow out, Luke Walton sandwiched corner triples around a technical
foul presumably for trash talking a few Pistons. The second triple made
102-76, and the Lakers would end up with a 108-83 margin in sweeping the
Pistons on the season.
26,671 Career points for Kobe Bryant, who
surpassed Dominique Wilkins for 10th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list
with a third quarter layup.
60 Points in the paint for the Lakers, 20 more than Detroit.
29 Assists for the Lakers, showcasing a
game of good ball movement. Bryant led the way with eight, while Lamar
Odom, Ron Artest and Steve Blake added four apiece.
19 Fast break points for the Lakers, who
got out and ran particularly well in the second half, when they amassed
15 of those points.
6 Turnovers in the game for the Lakers, a
major improvement in ball control from a sloppy Sunday loss to the
Grizzlies (20 turnovers). Meanwhile, L.A. forced 19 Pistons turnovers,
and scored 25 points off those mistakes.