Kobe Bryant had 17 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated Detroit Pistons 97-85 Sunday night for their second victory of the season. With their first home win of the season, Lakers improved to a 2-8 record and avoided their worst 10-game start in franchise history.
Jordan Clarkson scored 17 points while Nick Young added 13 off the bench as the Lakers ended their four-game losing streak after a lengthy East Coast trip. Center Roy Hibbert had 12 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks while Julius Randle finished with 8 points, 8 rebounds and a block.
Andre Drummond led the Pistons with 17 points and 17 rebounds. The Pistons (5-5) wrapped up their six-game West Coast trip with their fourth successive defeat. Spencer Dinwiddie, the back-up point guard, had an impressive tally of 17 points and 4 assists off the bench. Pistons’ starting point guard, Reggie Jackson, had a woeful game, going 4/11 from the field in 24 minutes.
Even though Kobe continued to shoot poorly, going 6/19 from a season-high 37 minutes, he played a solid floor game with season-high in assists and rebounds. Bryant played a lot of PG during the fourth quarter as Byron Scott sat rookie D’Angelo Russell, who finished with 9 points from 21 minutes.
For the Lakers, the biggest positive was the hustle and energy of rookie Larry Nance, Jr. Though Nance finished with just 6 points and 4 rebounds from 17 minutes, his plus/minus aggregate of +15 illustrates his valuable production off the bench.
The Lakers travel to Phoenix for a match-up with the Suns tomorrow. Lakers coach Scott said he will take a call on Monday morning whether to play Bryant in back-to-back games. “We’ll just keep doing it (monitor Bryant’s minutes),” Scott said. “I think we’ve got a pretty good solution.”