Roadkill: Pistons hand Lakers their third straight road loss
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) – Chauncey Billups poured in a game-high 24
points with eight assists to lead the Detroit Pistons to a 106-96 win over the
Los Angeles Lakers at the Palace.
Corliss Williamson added 14 points and seven rebounds and Ben Wallace recorded
his sixth double-double of the season with 12 points and 15 rebounds, as the
Pistons won their second game in a row after losing three straight.
Detroit also avenged an 94-89 loss to the Lakers on Friday at the Staples
Shaquille O’Neal scored 20 points to go along with a team-high 10 rebounds and
Karl Malone had 20 points and five boards. Kobe Bryant had 19 points, but shot
just 4-of-14 from the floor, as the Lakers had a three-game winning streak
snapped and lost their third consecutive road game.
With the Lakers leading 74-73 after three quarters, the Pistons opened the
fourth on a 14-7 run to grab a six-point lead. The Lakers got a free throw
from Horace Grant, but Detroit scored the next four points on a pair of Bob
Sura free throws and a layup by Billups to push Detroit’s lead to 91-82 with
just over four minutes to go.
The Lakers pulled within five on pairs of free throws by Bryant and Malone,
but Richard Hamilton drained a shot from the field and knocked down two free
throws to re-establish the nine-point advantage at 95-86 with 2:45 to go.
Hamilton made another shot, sandwiched around two pairs of Bryant free throws,
and when Billups swished a three-pointer from the corner with 1:35 to go, it
gave the Pistons an insurmountable 100-90 lead.
Wallace took a shot to the collarbone in the first quarter and had to leave
the game. However, he would return later in the contest, and the Pistons ended
the first 12 minutes ahead 25-23.
Detroit extended its lead in the second quarter, outscoring the Lakers by six
points over the last 5:10 of the half to take a 54-49 advantage into the
O’Neal picked up his fifth foul of the game guarding Mehmet Okur out at the
three-point line with 1:16 left in the third quarter, which would alter the
landscape of the contest.
Billups drove the lane for a traditional three-point play on the first Pistons
possession after O’Neal sat down, but the Lakers still led 74-73 going into
the final stanza.
The Lakers are only 3-3 on the road this season, but have still won 10 of 12
over the Pistons and 17 of the last 20 meetings between the two squads.
The Pistons, with six players in double figures, have beaten the Lakers at
home in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1996-97.