Detroit Pistons’ comeback bid falls short as Los Angeles Lakers win, 110-106

Detroit Free Press

LOS ANGELES — Sunday night’s visit to Staples Center to be out of reach early in the second half for the Detroit Pistons. The Los Angeles Lakers took control of the third quarter, using a 16-0 run to help build a 19-point lead at the 3:42 mark.

The Pistons rallied back, outscoring the Lakers, 36-27, in the fourth quarter to get back into the game. A pair of free throws by Jerami Grant cut the deficit to 108-104 with 16 seconds remaining.

But it was a little too late to complete a comeback.

LOSING ISAIAH: Pistons’ Isaiah Stewart has chance to show true character

The Lakers won, 110-106, and needed big performances from their three stars to put the Pistons away. LeBron James (33 points, nine assists, five rebounds), Russell Westbrook (25 points, nine assists, six rebounds) and Anthony Davis (24 points, 10 rebounds) combined for 82 of the Lakers’ 110 points.

Grant led the Pistons with 32 points (11-for-20 shooting, 4-for-6 from 3) and Frank Jackson added 17 points off of the bench. Cade Cunningham had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, scoring 11 points in the second half. Trey Lyles had 13 points and seven rebounds.

The Pistons (4-16) trailed by 17 with 8:14 to play in the fourth quarter, but used a 13-2 run, capped by a Cunningham 3 with 5:58 remaining, to whittle the deficit down to 97-91. Detroit struggled with turnovers, coughing the ball up 17 times to create 19 Lakers points. But only one of those turnovers occurred in what was a strong fourth quarter.

Stewart gets chilly reception in LA

All eyes were on LeBron James and Isaiah Stewart entering Sunday’s game. It had been a week since they were involved in their headline-topping altercation at Little Caesars Arena. The pro-Lakers crowd was eager to boo Stewart, and they did just that.

Stewart got a big round of jeers when his name was called during pregame introductions, and he was booed whenever he touched the ball. But beyond the vitriol he got from the audience, it was a tame affair compared to the previous game between the two teams. No punches were thrown, no hard fouls were dolled out and no technical fouls were assessed.

It was a quiet night for Stewart, who finished with five points and six rebounds in 27 minutes.

Hayes returns to lineup

Hayes has been one of Detroit’s most-effective role players this season. He has made a leap as a defender, and has arguably been its best player along the perimeter. His vision and ballhandling adds flexibility to an offense that has often been rigid this season. And he was one of the better shooters on the roster before his sprained left thumb began to visibly bother him.

The Pistons decided to shut Hayes down for a week last Monday, and he had missed the previous four games going into Sunday to give his thumb a chance to rest. He returned to the starting lineup against the Lakers, and had an all-around good game even though he didn’t stuff the stat sheet. The ball didn’t stick when Hayes was on the floor, and he fed Jackson for a pair of corner 3’s in the fourth quarter to keep the Pistons within striking distance.

Contact Omari Sankofa II at osankofa@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Pistons content. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

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