The Lakers led 25 to 20 after one quarter of play, and Wesley Johnson scored 5 of the Lakers first 9 points, sinking his first 2 shots and scoring 7 in the quarter. The real star of the period, however, was once again rookie point guard Jordan Clarkson, who continued to impress with 4 points, 5 assists and 0 turnovers in the first 12 minutes of play.
The second quarter was more back and forth, featuring Tarik Black dunks and Wayne Ellington losing his mind and thinking he was Magic Johnson. Clarkson continued to be solid, throwing 7 dimes in the first half alone. The Lakers offered little in the way of frontline resistance however, with the Pistons big man wrecking crew of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond combining for 23 points on 15 shots, allowing Stan Van Gundy's crew to hold a 50-49 lead headed into halftime.
The Lakers did not roll over in the third quarter, and actually won the period for the second consecutive game behind the scoring of Clarkson, Black, and Jordan Hill. The Pistons battled back in the fourth quarter once Reggie Jackson (2 points on 9 shots with 5 turnovers) went to the bench, but clutch plays from Jeremy Lin (12 points on 4 shots with 5 assists and 7 rebounds) and Jordan Hill (16 points on 15 shots) let the purple and gold to hang on for a win.
Former Lakers guard Jodie Meeks (12 points on 10 shots with 3 assists and 2 steals) was solid for Detroit in his return to Staples Center, and Monroe (24 points on 14 shots with 9 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals) and Drummond (14 points on 11 shots with 21 rebounds) were monsters, but it was not enough for the Pistons to escape with a win.
Among the positives in the win were Clarkson struggling from mid-range, but still was managing to post 10 points with a career high 8 assists and just 1 turnover despite curiously being benched along with Ed Davis (13 points on 8 shots with 6 rebounds in just 18 minutes) at the end of the game. The newly starting Tarik Black also was able to assert himself with 10 points on 5-9 shooting.
Lastly, congratulations to Lakers Head Coach Byron Scott on coaching his 1,000th game tonight in the victory. Of coaches with 1,000 games under their belts, Scott (.432) has the second worst winning percentage.
The Lakers next host the flaming triangular trash can known as the New York Knicks on Thursday, and will look to start a wining streak.