Los Angeles — The Pistons, desperately searching for their first road win, played their second game in as many days in Crypto.com Arena on Friday, but the outcome remained the same as their previous eight games in opposing arenas.
Detroit was hindered by frontcourt foul trouble for the majority of the night and Anthony Davis dominated the interior with 38 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 128-121 victory.
The game was close early in the fourth quarter as Detroit trailed by just one point, but Los Angeles guard Austin Reaves scored six points in the first three minutes of the period to give the Lakers a seven-point cushion. Reaves totaled eight points in the final twelve minutes.
More:BOX SCORE: Lakers 128, Pistons 121
The Pistons came within four points with five minutes left, but couldn’t overcome the deficit and Davis’ size and ultimately suffered their sixth straight loss, which is now a season-high after the team lost five consecutive games in October.
The Lakers were without LeBron James, who did not play due to a left adductor strain despite being upgraded to questionable for Friday’s game. Davis was available, and he made his presence felt inside the paint, specifically the free-throw line. The 6-foot-10 big man made 18-of-21 from the stripe.
Manning the Lakers’ second unit was Russell Westbrook, who totaled 10 points, five rebounds and 12 assists on Friday. Detroit led by as many as 14 points in the second quarter, but Westbrook’s playmaking was the catalyst for the Lakers’ 20-5 scoring binge that ultimately gave them momentum to go into the halftime break.
Bojan Bogdanovic, Detroit’s leading scorer, paced the Pistons’ starters with 20 points, six rebounds and five assists. Killian Hayes produced a season-high 18 points and nine assists on 4-of-6 from the 3-point line before fouling out late in the fourth quarter.
Alec Burks added a team-high 23 points off the bench. He made 5-of-8 from the 3-point line, including an off-balance triple in the third quarter that resulted in a four-point play. Burks kept Detroit afloat in the second half as the Lakers tried to take command of the game. Hamidou Diallo tallied 13 points off the bench.
The Lakers took a 68-64 lead into halftime after Lonnie Walker III connected on a corner 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The Pistons’ trio of centers had a rough start to the game. Both Marvin Bagley and Jalen Duren picked up two fouls apiece and had to sit on the bench for the remainder of the first quarter. Veteran center Nerlens Noel was inserted into the game, but picked up his first foul after one minute on the floor.
The injury bug bit the Pistons once again as Saddiq Bey left the game at the 7:52 mark of the fourth quarter after turning his ankle. The third-year forward grimaced while on the floor and on the bench before he went to the locker room for the remainder of the game. Detroit is already down two starters due to the loss of Cade Cunningham and Isaiah Stewart.
After a winless trip in Los Angeles, the Pistons (3-14) have yet to win on an opposing team’s floor and the road only gets harder from here with four games left on their west coast swing. Sacramento (8-6) is up next, followed by Denver (9-5), Utah (10-6) and Phoenix (9-5).