LA Lakers vs. Detroit Pistons: Postgame Grades and Analysis for LA

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LA Lakers vs. Detroit Pistons: Postgame Grades and Analysis for LA
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have not been a good road team throughout the 2012-13 season, but they showed up to the Palace at Auburn Hills Saturday and left with a 98-97 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

L.A.’s offense has looked good as of late, and you can give credit to the team’s stellar ball movement. With Kobe Bryant willing to make the pass necessary to set up his teammates, the ball is finding its way to the open shooters.

That theme held true in the opening period against Detroit, and Los Angeles posted a 32-point first quarter.

Between the end of the first and the start of the second, the Pistons began to establish momentum. They put together a 9-0 run and took advantage of an L.A. team that didn’t want to get out and play up-tempo.

But while the Lakers wanted to stay within their half-court plan of attack, they weren’t afraid to get out in transition when given the opportunity. Bryant and Steve Nash did a good job of pushing the pace, and more importantly, they made the right decisions when it came to slowing it back down.

The second half began, and Los Angeles led by 11. That lead reached 18 halfway through the third quarter, but a 16-4 run by Detroit shaved that advantage down to six heading into the fourth.

A common theme in this one was that when the Pistons got out in transition, the Lakers struggled to keep up. With the starters on the bench to begin the final quarter, Detroit came out and tied the game halfway through the quarter.

This game remained close the rest of the way, and it came down to simple late-game execution. Neither team put together a solid performance in the closing minutes, as both missed golden opportunities to steal the win, but it was L.A. that defended the rim on the last shot and won its second game in a row in the middle of a long road trip. 

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