Kobe Bryant and the Lakers had little trouble with the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night, defeating them by a score of 106-96. If the gap between conferences wasn't apparent enough already, the Lakers somehow are now 4-0 against the Eastern Conference while having just a 1-13 record against the West.
Jordan Hill led the way with 22 points (10-15 FG) and 13 rebounds. Hopefully, Hill can keep up his production this year to build trade value for February. Kobe had 12 points, 13 assists, and 5 rebounds, though tallied 10 turnovers. The Pistons started the game doubling Kobe on every post touch, so he facilitated while looking a little out of sync with his teammates. Kobe scored all of his points in one sequence during the 3rd quarter, where he scored 12 straight Laker points.
With the second units in during the 4th quarter, the Pistons made enough of a run to force the Lakers to bring back Kobe and the starters. The extra rest would have been helpful for the first night of a back-to-back. Kobe played 33 minutes, which was a bit less than his average of 35.9, but still too much in a game that wasn't really in doubt.
The Pistons never got anything going on the offensive end, with the normally abysmal Lakers defense holding Detroit to just 36.7% shooting. Brandon Jennings shot just 2-10 from the field, and no Pistons starter shot better than 50%.
The Lakers will travel to Washington, D.C. tomorrow to take on the Wizards at 4:00 PM PT.
Ideally, the Lakers could have used a loss here to help preserve the hope of securing that top 5 Phoenix pick, but it appears the Lakers will be in a close race in that regard. Odds are, we'll all be on the edge of our seats for the lottery.