NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, November 17th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (9-2) at Detroit Pistons (4-7), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers were able to get back in the win column last night and will resume a three-game road trip Wednesday against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Los Angeles had dropped back-to-back games to Denver and Phoenix following an 8-0 start to the new season, and displayed some resilience in Tuesday's 118-107 victory at Milwaukee in the opener of the trek. Kobe Bryant scored 31 points to help end the Bucks' three-game winning streak and Shannon Brown netted 16 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter.
"I needed to get us going a little bit, the game was flat," Bryant said of the 61-point second half. "At halftime we talked about doing a better job defensively. We were really poor in the first half just giving layup after layup and we wanted to sure up our defense in the second half."
Pau Gasol contributed 18 points and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles, which entered last night's contest as the league's top scoring team at 112.5 points per game and will also visit Minnesota.
Lakers defensive-minded forward Ron Artest played less than 18 minutes due to a possible hip injury. According to head coach Phil Jackson, Artest will play tonight in Detroit -- the site of his infamous brawl in the stands as a member of Indiana a few years back.
Detroit completed a four-game road trip out west with a 2-2 mark and has won four of five games until losing to Golden State, 101-97, on Monday.
Charlie Villanueva led six players in double figures with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Tayshaun Prince added 15 points, Austin Daye 14 and Richard Hamilton 13 points for the Pistons, who were down by as many as 32 points and outscored the Warriors by a 28-14 margin in the final stanza.
Ben Gordon had 14 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, and Rodney Stuckey notched 11 in defeat.
"Coming back from 32 is hard. It's tough, but it's part of the game," Gordon said afterwards.
Detroit will also welcome Washington to town on its homestand.
The Lakers swept a home-and-home series with Detroit a season ago and have won 15 of the last 24 meetings between the teams. They are unbeaten in two straight trips to the Motor City after losing six in a row at The Palace.
11/17 11:08:45 ET