Lakers go for fourth straight
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) – The Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons
will meet for the final time of the 2003-04 regular season tonight when they
jump it up at the Palace.
The Lakers, who come into tonight’s contest on a three-game winning streak,
defeated the Pistons, 94-89, on Friday at the Staples Center.
In the first meeting between the teams this season, Shaquille O’Neal recorded
21 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Lakers past Detroit.
Gary Payton netted 21 points for the Lakers and Karl Malone added 16 points
and nine rebounds for LA, while Kobe Bryant also scored 16 points.
Los Angeles has won six straight home games over the Pistons. The Lakers have
also won 19 regular-season games in a row in Los Angeles.
Bryant scored a game-high 27 points and O’Neal added 14 to lead the Lakers to
a 99-77 victory over Miami on Sunday at Staples Center. Bryant was 6-of-10
from the field and 15-of-16 from the free throw line.
Malone contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds against the Heat, while
Payton added 13 points and eight assists in the win.
The Lakers finished 0-for-9 from beyond the arc Sunday, while shooting 33-
of-46 from the free throw line.
On Sunday, LA coach Phil Jackson won his 784th game, tying Gene Shue for 11th-
place on the all-time list.
The Lakers are 3-2 on the road this season.
The Pistons, who have won three in a row at home after they lost their season
opener at the Palace against the Indiana Pacers, got back on the winning track
Saturday, defeating the Phoenix Suns, 100-91, at America West Arena.
In the process, Detroit avoided going winless on its four-game west coast road
trip. Richard Hamilton scored a game-high 27 points against the Suns,
including seven in the final minute of play, to pace the Pistons to the win.
Chauncey Billups added 24 points and hit two big three-pointers down the
stretch against Phoenix. Ben Wallace finished with 13 points and 16 rebounds,
and Corliss Williamson chipped in with 11 points for Detroit, which shot 47
percent (35-of-74) from the floor. The Pistons went 3-of-8 from three-point
range and 27-of-39 from the free throw line.
The Lakers have won 10 of 11 over the Pistons and 17 of the last 19 meetings
between the two squads.
The Pistons snapped a nine game series home losing streak to the Lakers on
March 12, 2003 when they defeated LA, 111-88.