D’Angelo Russell, Lakers bounce back to dominate Pistons – Orange County Register

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DETROIT — After their 44-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday, the Lakers needed a “get right” game.

Enter the league-worst Detroit Pistons – the perfect opponent to play to restore a good feeling around a team following a historic loss.

The Lakers (11-8) did exactly what they were supposed to do against the Pistons (2-16), dominating Detroit from the opening tipoff en route to a 133-107 victory on Wednesday night at Little Caesars Arena.

“It’s always those scary teams like Detroit who are struggling and us coming in, us being the Lakers, everyone gets up for those games,” Anthony Davis said. “But they just need that one game and that game could be you. So, our job is to come in and just take care of business and I think we did that on the defensive end. And offensively, we were offensively sound tonight.”

The result was never in doubt.

The Lakers, who are 2-1 on their four-game road trip, pounced on the Pistons, whose losing streak was extended to 15 games – the longest single-season losing streak in franchise history.

D’Angelo Russell had the hot hand early, making his first six shots and recording 13 points and four assists in the opening quarter to help give the Lakers an early 38-24 lead – the highest-scoring first quarter for L.A. this season as they shot 60% to Detroit’s 36%.

He didn’t cool off, scoring a season-high 35 points on 13-of-17 shooting (5 for 7 from 3-point range) to go with nine assists, four rebounds and two blocked shots in 34 minutes. His scoring total was his highest since rejoining the Lakers ahead of last season’s trade deadline.

“It’s my first time this year getting into that rhythm I feel like,” Russell said. “For me, it was just trying to stay locked in the whole game. Never knew when it was going to continue to happen for me and continue to make shots at a high rate like that.

“I always find myself getting into that rhythm and then shooting myself out of that rhythm with a heat check or something like that. I just try to stay in that rhythm and play the right way, and just take what they were giving me. I looked up and I put together an efficient game.”

Davis (28 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and three blocks) led the Lakers’ interior dominance. The Lakers finished with 10 blocks, with at least six players recording one. LeBron James finished with 25 points, eight rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes.

“We responded well,” James said in reference to the most lopsided loss of his 21-year NBA career. “We played a lot better. D-Lo and A.D. got us started out with the hot streak they had in the first quarter, and we all picked it up off of that.”

Lakers coach Darvin Ham said he could see and hear that James was ready to lead the way before the game even started.

“He understands the energy he gives off,” Ham said.

James was smiling and joking with teammates while getting shots off during warmups, but he shrugged off the observation.

“I’m pretty much always like that,” he said. “I have a lot of energy to give.”

Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft, led the Pistons with 15 points, five assists and four rebounds.



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