James collects 33 points and leads the team 110-106 over the Pistons. “We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what we can be yet,” King James assures
The Lakers have a little special talent this year: they make even the simplest things complicated. How to beat Detroit: It should be easy to win against one of the NBA’s worst teams, with LeBron James dominating and the Big Three together producing 82 points. Instead, everything becomes so complicated that the 110-106 on the Pistons is in the safe only in the final, after the guests have almost canceled the 17 points advantage in the fourth period. Growth pains, for a team still far from what it would like to be. “We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what we want to be – assures LeBron -: we still need time, we have to keep working”.
It would help a lot to win, for the Lakers (11 won-11 lost so far) who with Detroit have just achieved their third success in their last 8 games. It would help that LeBron dominate (33 points and 9 assists) again as he did against the Pistons, who were struggling with both his long-range shot and his ability to get the team moving. Russell Westbrook (25 points and 9 assists) and Anthony Davis (24 with 10 rebounds) were good at following him, dragging the team as in the early season plans and as rarely has been so far. “We have a team that can win, that can change everything with a winning streak – explains AD -: we have to start building, starting from the defense as in this match”. Yes, because it was the defense that changed things, especially in the third quarter when the Lakers conceded 22 points to the Pistons, putting in the decisive 16-0 run for the win. “We know we can be great on defense and that will help us on offense. And we are still convinced that we can have a great season with this group ”assures coach Vogel. It’s not a win against a Detroit-level team that can change the Lakers season, but it can be a small brick, an example of how to do things especially now that the calendar offers a period of challenges against affordable opponents. The Lakers have a lot to do to catch up, but they also have the means to do it.
Youth in power
Detroit (4-16) collects the sixth defeat in a row despite the 32 points of Jerami Grant, the adult in the room of this team in reconstruction that has three players born in 2001 in the quintet, as coach Casey has also found Killian Hayes after 4 stop races. The 2001 with more spotlight on him, Cade Cunningham, played a good game closing with 15 points and 11 rebounds, finding especially in the third quarter the baskets with which to lend a hand to Grant in order not to let the Lakers escape. The Pistons are still years away from being competitive, but this team already has a fighting spirit which is a splendid brick to build on. To beat the Lakers, however, would have needed more talent. What is not on the roster yet.
The equilibrium of the first half, which the Lakers close ahead 51-48 after 18 changes in command, is broken in the third period, with the yellow-violet who put in the 16-0 partial that the positive Talen Horton-Tucker extends up to the triple of 77 -58 with 3’41 “to play. The hosts seem to be in control with 17 points clear at the beginning of the fourth period, but Detroit puts his soul to mend: he returns to -6 with a triple from Jackson 2’20 “from the end, then down 108-104 with Grant’s two free throws with 16 ”on the clock. LeBron first and Horton-Tucker then close the accounts.
LA Lakers: James 33 (8/11 from two, 4/9 from three, 5/8 free throws), Westbrook 25, Davis 24. Rebounds: Davis 10. Assists: James 9, Westbrook 9.
Detroit: Grant 32 (7/14, 4/6, 6/6 tl), Jackson 17, Cunningham 15. Rimbalzi: Bey 11, Cunningham 11. Assist: Hayes 8.
November 29 – 07:55
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Lebron dominates, the Lakers rejoice. But what a struggle with Detroit