Lakers aim to avoid 0-4 hole vs. Pistons
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Lakers weren't even located in the West Coast the last time they started 0-4.
The Lakers hope to avoid that dubious distinction this evening versus the winless Detroit Pistons at Staples Center.
Expectations for the Lakers were set at extreme heights when they landed coveted center Dwight Howard and veteran point guard Steve Nash to play alongside superstar Kobe Bryant, but so far the team is still searching for chemistry and its first win of the season.
Head coach Mike Brown could be getting hot under the collar, as the Lakers dropped their season opener versus Dallas, before losses to Portland and the Clippers. In Friday's L.A. showdown, Bryant made 14-of-23 shots for 40 points in a 105-95 setback at Staples Center. Howard had 13 points and eight rebounds, and Pau Gasol ended with 10 points and 14 boards.
"It's the same song over the last couple of games, 20 turnovers and giving up 25 points off those turnovers, that's tough," Brown said. "Twenty second- chance points off nine offensive rebounds, that's tough. We didn't play a great game."
The Lakers, who were winless (0-8) in the preseason, are 0-3 for just the fourth time in their history and first time since the 1978-79 season. The only time the Lakers began 0-4 was in 1957, when Minneapolis dropped its first seven contests.
The Lakers played without Nash, who sat out with an inflamed lower leg and is expected to miss some time. Steve Blake started in place of Nash, a two-time MVP, and had eight points. Bryant had two steals to pass Magic Johnson as the all-time career franchise leader.
Detroit is trying to dodge its third straight 0-3 start Sunday. It dropped a season-opening game versus Houston at The Palace, then suffered a 92-89 loss at Phoenix Friday in the opener of a six-game trek.
Tayshaun Prince had 18 points and Jason Maxiell added 16 and six rebounds for the Pistons, who will also visit the Nuggets, Kings, Thunder and Rockets on their West Coast trip. Brandon Knight had 13 points and 10 assists in defeat, as the Pistons were outscored, 26-7, to close out the first half.
"We had some very good looks," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "But when you're missing open shots or things aren't going your way, you have to be able to defend. Our inability to get consistent stops during dry spells determined the game."
Promising center Greg Monroe registered 10 points and six boards. Forward Corey Maggette (calf) is expected to miss Sunday's game and is three rebounds shy of 4,000 for his career.
Detroit won the lone meeting with the Lakers, 88-85 in overtime, last season to halt a five-game slide in the series. The Pistons, though, have dropped 10 of their last 13 against the Lakers as the guest.
11/04 10:49:40 ET