Leave it to the Lakers to find a way to make a blowout win dramatic.
If you take the second quarter out of the game, the Lakers outscored the Pistons by 31, but due to some terrible bench play — weren’t they past that? — it ends up just a 92-77 Lakers win that had fans nervous at the half.
It improves the Lakers to 3-0 on the “Evan Lysacek is in your building” road trip. However, the drama kept them from resting players as much as the coaching staff would have liked before heading to New Jersey tomorrow night.
It looked like a laugher early. The Lakers ground the Pistons down in the first quarter, holding them to just 12 points with impressive defense and taking a 13-point lead after one quarter. It is exactly what should have happened as the Lakers faced a Pistons team without Allen Iverson, Rasheed Wallace or Rip Hamilton.
Then the Lakers bench reverted to the same old horror movie of the past month (save the last couple of games). The Pistons started the second quarter on a 21-2 run fueled by the speed of backup point guard Will Bynum, who caught the Lakers defense napping. He ran the pick-and-roll beautifully, and the Lakers defended it like they had never seen it before. The end result was a 30-14 second quarter for the Pistons, leaving the Lakers down three at the half. Bynum finished the game with a career high 35, Jordan Farmar finished with egg on his face.
Then the Lakers from the first quarter showed up again and the pendulum of momentum swung back. The Lakers who went on a 30-5 run by playing defense again, cutting off the guys getting to the basket and chasing down shooters. The Lakers were back up 15 after the third quarter. The fourth quarter was played to a standstill.
The only downside was that the starters did not get to sit the entire fourth quarter out, but after the bench’s performance in the second quarter nobody is going to blame Phil Jackson for wanting to secure the win. Kobe dropped 30 on 10 of 18 shooting to be the high man
The win breaks a nine-game losing streak in Detroit for the Lakers that dates back to 2002. The loss, coupled with a Chicago Bulls win, dropped Detroit into the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Because you really want Cleveland in the first round. I mean, who do they have that is any good?
>Kurt Helin is the drama queen at his blog, Forum Blue & Gold.