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Lakers hold off Pistons, have now won five of their last six

Feb 3, 2013, 5:01 PM EDT

Pau Gasol, Jason Maxiell

It certainly wasn’t pretty, and at times it seemed as though the Lakers were trying to give this game away more than they were trying to win it. But ultimately, L.A. held off the Pistons for a 98-97 victory, the team’s fifth win in its last six games.

Dwight Howard missed his second straight game after re-aggravating the torn labrum in his right shoulder, but Pau Gasol responded well, playing at center and getting the start in Howard’s absence.

Gasol was aggressive and engaged from the start, and finished with 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds while playing 40 minutes. Earl Clark had a nice game alongside him on the front line, and finished with 17 and 10 of his own.

Playing at the Palace apparently brought Metta World Peace back to his Ron Artest days, as he was whistled for a flagrant foul on Brandon Knight late in the second quarter after catching him with a subtle shot to the face.

The Lakers played well on both ends of the floor for approximately two-and-a-half quarters, before their habit of blowing double-digit leads crept up once again. L.A. led by 18 points with 6:45 to play in the third, before Will Bynum checked in for Detroit and helped to lead a rally that began cutting into the Pistons’ deficit.

Bynum’s speed on the perimeter and ability to get into the paint and either score or distribute to his teammates for easy looks was huge in bringing Detroit back, as was Charlie Villanueva‘s 10 fourth-quarter points on 4-of-5 shooting.

After Bynum’s layup cut the Lakers lead to one with a minute left to play, neither team scored the rest of the way. But both had plenty of opportunities.

Gasol missed a short jumper that would have extended the lead to three, followed by Andre Drummond missing one from less than 10 feet out that would have given the Pistons the lead. With just 16 seconds remaining, the Pistons were forced to foul, so they did, and sent Clark to the line to give L.A. another chance to extend its lead.

Clark, who shoots better than 68 percent from the free throw line on the season, missed them both.

Detroit got a great look on its next possession, with Bynum getting inside and all the way to the rim for what seemed sure to be a potential game-winner, but the shot rattled out, and Steve Nash secured the rebound before getting fouled with two seconds remaining.

Nash is literally the all-time leader in free throw percentage, but even he managed to miss both of his attempts. In case you needed one more sign pointing to this season being cursed for the Lakers, there it was.

Regardless of the blown 19-point lead and the late-game stuggles, the Lakers will take the win. They now get into the meat of this road trip over the next few games, beginning on Tuesday with a stop in Brooklyn to take on the Nets.

  1. daddyghi - Feb 3, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    prolakerstalk.nbcsports.com

    if its not lakers news, its knicks news…

    • dmcannon99 - Feb 3, 2013 at 8:45 PM

      Shall we call you a “whaaaaambulance”?

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Feb 3, 2013 at 9:36 PM

      I understand your frustration, but you have to live with the fact that economics is also involved in sports websites like this one. Ratings and number of views and clicks help determine ad sponsorship, ergo income. I don’t think guys like Brett write pro bono for NBC.

      Your team has its own website. Why don’t you frequent there instead? Or better yet, you could set up your own website you know.

    • stoutfiles - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:42 AM

      People either love the big markets or hate them, which mean they read the articles. If articles about the Bucks and Cavs generated lots of page views, there would be more of them. PBT is just giving the people what they want. I personally hate the Lakers but grasp basic economics.

    • lyndseymarieee - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      I see more Heat stories than anything. LA is a big market and a very popular team. Of course they’re going to be at the top of sports websites priorities.

      • daddyghi - Feb 5, 2013 at 7:36 PM

        really? so the clippers are locate in a smaller market?

      • lyndseymarieee - Feb 5, 2013 at 7:45 PM

        Who said anything about the Clippers? I said the Lakers are a popular team. The Clippers may have more fans now because they are doing well (and I’m not suggesting you are that kind of fan) but with the Lakers success in the past, obviously they will get more coverage.

  2. hojo20 - Feb 3, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Oh boy the Lakers beat the 18-30 Pistons! Awesome!

    • velascochad - Feb 3, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      at least we didnt lose to cleveland like what okc did he other night

    • 24thesho - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:55 AM

      Dude, this is the NBA; everybody knows how to play, even sub .500 teams!

  3. showtimefolks007 - Feb 3, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    So when we loose to a 18-30 team it’s news but when we win it’s not? Man stop hating.

    WTH lakers stop blowing large leads and win 8 out of 10 or 13 out of 15 to get this season right. This road trip is a make or break.

    • saint1997 - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:05 AM

      make or break was kind of a while ago…

  4. seattlenative57 - Feb 3, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    OK, in the past 15 years, how many game summaries have NOT included some reference to Kobe Bryant? Here it is. Not a single reference to Kobe. Guess he didn’t play or he had no influence on the outcome. Right?

    • scalfor3 - Feb 3, 2013 at 11:50 PM

      It’s a shame no one ever pays attention to Kobe

      • badintent - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:28 AM

        Don’t tell him, he’ll have a panic attack and buy another $5 million dollar ring for Vanessa

      • scalfor3 - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:07 AM

        @badintent: nah, he only does that when people pay too much attention to him, if you catch my drift

    • eventhorizon04 - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:51 AM

      Kobe went 8 for 20 (40% FG) from the field, with 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 turnovers, and 18 points total.

      Happy?

  5. seattlenative57 - Feb 3, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Upon further research I found Kobe scored 18 points on 8/20 shooting and he added 5 assists. Hmmm, still stunning that he garnered no mentions in the game summary. This is Kobe’s team, right?

  6. fiyeaglesfiy - Feb 3, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Hey D’Antoni – fix your rotations!! Almost blew another 4th quarter, double digit lead to a below 500 team. Under no circumstance should all of your star players be resting at the same time, especially in the 4th. If Bryant’s resting Nash is running the offense. One of those two should be on at all times. Same with Gasol and Howard (when healthy). Can’t give opponents momentum to start the 4th. Foot on the gas and close. Next time we won’t be so lucky.

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Feb 3, 2013 at 6:51 PM

      Definitely agree. Makes me wonder what exactly is inside the coach’s head… *rolleyes*

    • 24thesho - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:34 AM

      D’Antoni is an idiot, Howard is at home, Pau had a double doule the Lakers won. Hmmm…

      • 24thesho - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:57 AM

        D’Antoni is an idiot, Howard is at home, Pau had a double double, the Lakers won. Hmmm…

    • zacksdad - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      I did not watch the game. But how did D’Antoni allow a 68% free thrower touch the ball with 16 seconds left. The ball should have been given to Nash and Kobe only.

      The Lakers are starting to win. But even there wins suck. Get rid of the coach.

      Hire a coach that knows how to treat his players correctly. Insulting Gasol and Jamison by benching them and leaving out of the games he did.

      Hire a coach who knows how to use his players correctly. How many titles did the Lakers win with 2 bigs “starting”. How many did Spurs win with 2 bigs starting.

      Jerry get a clue and fire Jimmie. Stop allowing him making the Lakers a worse “run” team then the Clippers.

  7. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Feb 3, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    On the home page headline, the primary pic has this caption:

    “PBT: Pau Gasol had 23 points and 10 rebounds as the Lakers topped the Raptors 98-97 for a fifth win in six games.”

    Raptors? It’s the Pistons!

  8. magicbucs - Feb 3, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    And the super star lakers are still 4 games under .500 lol barely beating teams that are 17-28.

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:04 AM

      Quite true…

      …while the Orlando Magic and their fans are still wondering what it is like to have a Victory Parade in June…

      • loungefly74 - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:16 AM

        agree…the Magic know much about winning as Charlie Manson knows about being a free man…

        hey…lets talk about that, im in a saucey mood. well…thank you for shaq…the 3 titles he helped us too were great. thats 3 times more…than…ZERO. magicbus…ya got nothing. ya loser. magic are crap. how bout some “magic” for them to win a title? cause they need it…that whole crappy state is full of fair weather fans…losers. your history is full of losing…ya loser. magicbus…go F&$K yourself…ya loser.

      • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:29 AM

        Easy there, buddy. I got relatives in Florida too. Don’t make sweeping statements! LOL!

        Besides, Miami has got banners. Quite enough to compensate for the entire state, don’t you think?

        I had to do a double take on my own post if I did specify Orlando Magic…

        …coz if it was just Magic, then that could have easily been Magic Johnson, who by the way has more rings than this franchise can ever have in magicbucs lifetime.

      • loungefly74 - Feb 4, 2013 at 8:33 AM

        sorry foul. that was directed at magicbucs. and my bad. in a sour mood due to my niners losing. if i could delete that post…i would. sports can bring out the worst in me!

  9. 32magicman - Feb 3, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    But just 3 1/2 games behind Houston for the 8th playoff seed. Hooray

  10. loungefly74 - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    alright…my Lakers won (as i wipe away the tears from my niners losing…)

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:19 AM

      Blame it on Beyonce, dude. That blackout ruined the momentum…

      • loungefly74 - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:21 AM

        i dont know man…im bummed…but all its all good…i’ll just look to my recent SF Giants title for reassurance…:)

      • manchestermiracle - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:05 AM

        That blackout changed the momentum in the Niners’ favor. They were getting roasted up until then. If I were a 49er fan I’d be a lot more pissed about the horrific refereeing. And how does New Orleans get a Super Bowl when they can’t even keep the lights on?

      • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:51 AM

        Valid points and agreed.

        I was actually being sarcastic in my previous post. :)

  11. omniusprime - Feb 4, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    Brett Pollakoff you’re such an idiot. The Lakers have played some soft teams the last 6 games, that’s the only reason they look like they’re surging. You seem to forget they lost about 5 in a row just before this little winning streak.

    Actually it’s a bad thing the Lakers won as that gives Dumbtoni a little more breathing room. I want to see the Lakers go on another long losing streak so that hopefully the little idiot buss boy will realize he has to fire Dumbtoni to clean up his ignorant choice of coach.

    Fire Dumbtoni!!! Trade Trash Nash!!! Trade Steve Flake!!! We Want Pau!!!

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