The Los Angeles Lakers finished up their three-game road trip on Friday night against the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons dominated inside, but the Lakers got enough three to fall and they won a nail-biter 106-102.
Wesley Johnson led all scorers with 27 points thanks to 9-of-11 shooting and six triples. Pau Gasol had 13 points and 12 boards. Shawne Williams had 20 points and Steve Blake dished 10 assists, though he also coughed up five turnovers.
Rodney Stuckey led Detroit with 22 points. Josh Smith shot just 4-of-16 and missed all four free throws he attempted, but he grabbed 19 rebounds, dished eight dimes, grabbed five steals and blocked two shots. Andre Drummond notched another double-double with 13 and 11.
Smith had a chance to tie the game in the waning moments, but he barreled over Nick Young and got called for charging.
The Lakers got a beautiful last-second lob pass from Steve Blake to Wesley Johnson right before the buzzer to take a 56-55 halftime lead. It came off an inbounds play as Josh Smith completely lost track of Johnson.
The teams combined to miss 22 free throws in total. The Pistons outscored L.A. in the paint 76-28 and attempted 20 more field goals than the Lakers. However, they had just one lonely three pointer while L.A. knocked down 14 triples.
With Kobe Bryant's return looming on the horizon, the Lakers look good at 9-8. Detroit has some nice players on offense, but they have to get their defensive schemes sorted out as they got killed on the perimeter in this loss.