Given their struggles on the road, the Los Angeles Lakers got a much-needed victory away from the Staples Center against the Detroit Pistons, 98-97.
It was not pretty. The Lakers blew an 11-point halftime lead to allow the Pistons to tie the game late, only to do just enough to hang on.
The star of the show for the Lakers was Pau Gasol, who finished the game with 23 points and 10 rebounds. After being in Mike D'Antoni's doghouse for a long time, the star power forward has taken to his new-old role as a starter, with Dwight Howard sitting out due to a shoulder injury.
Gasol has been extraordinary in the Lakers' last two games, both victories. He scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds against Minnesota on Friday night. He then followed up that performance with another double-double on Sunday.
Kobe Bryant was instrumental down the stretch, despite shooting just 8-of-20 from the field and finishing with 18 points and five assists. With the game tied at 95 and less than two minutes to play, he hit a layup and drew a foul to give the Lakers a three-point lead they would not relinquish.
Greg Monroe led the charge for the Pistons, who put forth a valiant effort on both ends of the floor in the second half to get the team back in the game. He finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds in defeat.
The win moves the Lakers to 22-26, while the Pistons fall to 18-30.
What's next for the Lakers?
The Lakers will take Monday off before continuing their 12-day, seven-game East Coast road trip in Brooklyn against the Nets. It will be the second meeting of the season between the two teams. The Lakers defeated the Nets 95-90 on November 20.
What's next for the Pistons?
The Pistons get right back into action on Monday by traveling to Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Knicks. This will be the third matchup this season between the two teams, with the Knicks taking the first two games.