DETROIT – LeBron James made his first seven pictures from the sphere and regarded a lot able to main the Lakers to a victory with Anthony Davis sidelined.
Then James tried to change into extra of a facilitator — and he by no means actually regained that scoring groove.
James scored simply two factors after halftime, and the Detroit Pistons handed Los Angeles its second straight loss, 107-92 on Thursday evening. Davis sat out due to a proper quad contusion.
“I feel early on I received it going, after which I nonetheless on the finish of the day, nonetheless received to get my teammates concerned,” James mentioned. “I undoubtedly missed some pictures that I do know I’m accustomed to creating.”
Blake Griffin scored 23 factors for the Pistons, who’re having a wierd week that has included wins over the 76ers and Lakers however a loss to Cleveland in between.
“I assumed we had been actually good,” Griffin mentioned. “I used to be pleased with the way in which all people performed.”
James had 22 factors and 10 assists. The Lakers misplaced by some extent at Philadelphia on Wednesday evening, and now the defending champions are on their first shedding streak of any size since earlier than final 12 months’s playoffs.
Detroit led by one earlier than Griffin’s 3-pointer with 6:54 remaining began a 16-0 run. The Lakers went practically seven minutes with out scoring.
“I don’t know if we ran out of fuel,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel mentioned. “We simply didn’t have an incredible rhythm that second half in any manner.”
Wayne Ellington added 20 factors for the Pistons.
James was questionable due to a left ankle sprain, however he regarded effective on the outset, scoring 14 factors within the first quarter. James made 4 3-pointers within the first half, however so did Ellington, and the Pistons solely trailed 58-56 on the break.
Lakers: Kyle Kuzma scored 22 factors and Talen Horton-Tucker contributed 13. … James went 1 of 12 from the sphere after making his first seven pictures.
Pistons: Detroit made all 13 of its free throws. … Mason Plumlee had 17 factors and 10 rebounds.
UPS AND DOWNS
The final three Detroit video games — a win over Philadelphia on Monday, a loss to Cleveland on Wednesday and the sport in opposition to the Lakers on Thursday — had been determined by precisely 15 factors.
The Pistons caught a break when Joel Embiid of the 76ers was out Monday, and once more after they missed having to face Davis, however this rebuilding group can use some causes for optimism. In addition to, the Lakers are nonetheless robust so long as James is within the lineup.
“They’re skilled, they know the way to play,” Detroit coach Dwane Casey mentioned. “Nevertheless it’s good for us to get that confidence and to bolster what you’re preaching.”
Ellington completed 6 of 9 from 3-point vary and is 40 of 67 from lengthy distance in his final eight video games. Ellington grew to become the eighth participant in NBA historical past to have not less than seven straight video games with 4 or extra 3s.
“He simply single-handedly spaced our ground on offense, when you must give that a lot consideration to any person,” Plumlee mentioned. “Coach all the time attracts up a superb first play to get him off, he hits it after which it’s like the remainder of the evening that group is apprehensive about him coming off pin-downs. Then now, he’s getting some reducing baskets as a result of they’re so apprehensive about him coming off the display screen. It simply adjustments the dynamics of your offense.”
Lakers: Go to the Boston Celtics on Saturday evening. The groups cut up two video games final season, with Boston successful its residence recreation 139-107.
Pistons: Go to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday evening. The Warriors beat Detroit 116-106 on Dec. 29.
Observe Noah Trister at https://twitter.com/noahtrister
Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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