With LeBron James still out while he continues to deal with his nagging adductor injury, the Lakers once again needed Anthony Davis to improve. And as has been a trend lately, he delivered, giving Los Angeles the offensive punch the team needed to beat the Detroit Pistons 128-121 as Dennis Schröder and Thomas Bryant both made their long-awaited returns to the lineup celebrated.
The Lakers got off to a somewhat slow start, taking an early lead before allowing a 17-4 Pistons run only to give up right away and then some. But Bryant’s effort in the second quarter for his season debut gave the team much-needed boosts of energy, enthusiasm and production, and Purple and Gold rallied to reclaim the lead in the second quarter, resulting in a Lonnie Walker IV (who owns 17 points) buzzer -Beater to give the team a 68-64 lead at halftime.
The third frame was basically the same story in reverse, with a strong opener from Los Angeles being nullified by a slippage at the end of the quarter.
LAL led 94-86 with 2:30 left in the 3rd quarter before allowing a 9-2 run to end the period.
So with 12 minutes to play they’re only up 1.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 19, 2022
Leading the Lakers home, however, was once again Davis. The seven-footer put his will on the inexperienced Pistons front all game, teaming with Bryant to bully Detroit from the inside and get them in nasty trouble, which Davis then used to score free-throw after free-throw — and a few undisputed ones Dunks – drawing rule them out. Davis finished with a season-high 38 points remaining with 16 rebounds and 4 blocks, which is another reminder of how dominant he can look when he’s rolling.
Elsewhere in the purple and gold, Austin Reaves hit a couple of key shots to extend the fourth-place lead, flashing the craft and shooting technique he’s shown with increasing frequency this year to score 16 points. Schroeder also provided a welcome boost on his return, taking up the full field and irritating and delaying the young Pistons to prevent them from getting on their offense. It certainly wasn’t his most effective night of shooting (1-5), but he did offer some insight into how he could potentially help this side if he shakes off the griddle.
That win puts the Lakers up 4-10 on the season, and unlike their last break, the gap between tonight and their next game will be short as the team return to the crypt on Sunday to take on the Spurs for the first time to receive three matchups with San Antonio next week as they look to extend their winning streak to three games. See you there.
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