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Lakers hold off Pistons after blowing 18-point lead

February 03, 2013|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Lakers forward Metta World Peace loses control of the ball as he tries to score against Pistons forwards Jonas Jerebko and Greg Monroe in the first half Sunday.
Lakers forward Metta World Peace loses control of the ball as he tries to… (Carlos Osorio / Associated…)

Lakers 98, Pistons 97 (final)

The Lakers almost blew an 18-point lead but hung on to beat the Detroit Pistons on Sunday at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Pistons big man Andre Drummond couldn't quite handle Kyle Singler's alley-oop pass at the rim on an inbounds play with 1.2 seconds left, allowing the Lakers to escape after fumbling another comfortable edge.

Steve Nash missed two free throws with 2.7 seconds left after Earl Clark missed two free throws with 16.8 seconds left, giving the Pistons chances to steal a victory.

Detroit (18-30) couldn't quite do it.

The Lakers (22-26) improved to 2-1 on their seven-game Grammy trip.

Pau Gasol had 23 points and 10 rebounds in place of Dwight Howard, who sat out because of a sore right shoulder. Clark had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The Lakers have had trouble maintaining leads in recent games.

They lost almost all of an 18-point edge against New Orleans but won by five. Then they fumbled a 13-point advantage against Phoenix in a six-point loss. Somehow they almost coughed up a 29-point lead against Minnesota before recovering to win by 11.

Backup point guard Will Bynum had 18 points and 10 assists for the Pistons, who held the Lakers to 36 second-half points.

Lakers 78, Pistons 72 (end of third quarter)

How do you beat the Lakers? Give them a double-digit lead.

The Lakers stayed ahead of the Detroit Pistons through three quarters Sunday, but an 18-point edge was trimmed to six going into the fourth quarter at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Pau Gasol and Earl Clark continued to dominate on offense as the Lakers went without center Dwight Howard (sore shoulder).

Gasol has 21 points and eight rebounds while Clark has 17 points and six rebounds. Howard is not playing because of a sore right shoulder.

The Lakers (21-26) have had trouble maintaining leads in recent games.

They lost almost all of an 18-point edge against New Orleans but won by five. Then they fumbled a 13-point advantage against Phoenix and lost by six. Somehow they almost coughed up a 29-point lead against Minnesota before recovering to win by 11.

Center Greg Monroe has 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Pistons (18-29).

Lakers 62, Pistons 51 (halftime)

Pau Gasol has 15 points and the Lakers lead the Detroit Pistons at halftime, 62-51, Sunday at the Palace.

Gasol started in place of Dwight Howard, who did not play because he still felt pain in his right shoulder.

Earl Clark also has 15 points for the Lakers, who are trying to improve on a 1-1 record during their seven-game Grammy trip.

Metta World Peace, often scrutinized when he returns to the Palace, was hit with a flagrant foul after grabbing the back of Brandon Knight’s neck before a timeout with 1:43 left in the second quarter. It happened after Gasol was fouled by Greg Monroe while attempting a shot.

With 0.4 seconds left in the second quarter, Kobe Bryant fired an alley-oop pass from the sideline that Clark grabbed and slammed for a dunk. Bryant had seven points and four assists in the first half.

The Lakers were dominant down low, Gasol and Clark combining to make 12 of 17 shots. The Lakers shot 57% in the half.

Lakers 32, Pistons 27 (end of first quarter)

Earl Clark had nine points and the Lakers led the Detroit Pistons after the first quarter Sunday at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Mich.

The Lakers are playing without center Dwight Howard because he didn't want to aggravate his sore right shoulder.

Pau Gasol started in Howard's place and had six points and three rebounds as the Lakers led by as many as eight.

The Lakers are 1-1 on their seven-game Grammy trip. They are only 6-16 on the road this season and 21-26 overall.

Recently acquired point guard Jose Calderon was not playing for Detroit because of visa delays. Calderon, a native of Spain, was obtained from Toronto in a three-team trade last week.

Kyle Singler had eight first-quarter points for the Pistons (18-29).

ALSO:

Preview: Lakers at Detroit Pistons

Dwight Howard will not play against Detroit

Lakers top the Timberwolves for first road win of 2013

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