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Lakers vs. Pistons final score: Lakers lose 102-97 in ugly game to Detroit

Can we just forget this game happened?

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

When historians write the game of basketball’s story, they will ignore the fact that, on January 15, 2017, the Los Angeles Lakers played the Detroit Pistons. It was that kind of night.

The story from the game, first and foremost, is the continued up-and-down nature of the Lakers’ production. At one point, they led by 14 and seemed to have the game under control. Then, the second quarter happened and they found themselves in a slugfest the rest of the way.

A team like the Lakers cannot afford to let other teams stick around, and they learned the hard way Sunday night. Granted, the Pistons have more talent across their roster, but they haven’t played up to expectations and offered an opportunity to get a win and start building confidence after consecutive blowout losses to the Spurs and Clippers. Instead, the Lakers take a pretty bad loss all things considered.

The first thing that will jump off the box score is D’Angelo Russell’s minutes. He seemed to be playing pretty well, but for whatever reason, Luke Walton went elsewhere. It should be noted, though, that Lou Williams played really, really well and that probably convinced Walton to ride the hot hand.

Russell finished with 20 points, three assists and seven boards in 26 minutes. Lou finished with 26 points on only 14 shot attempts, which was pretty impressive.

If the Lakers really want to find a reason for the result, they should start with the frontcourt. Their forwards (Julius Randle, Luol Deng and Brandon Ingram) combined for nine points on 3-19 shooting. That simply will not get it done.

Deng can’t blame lack of rest on his shooting, but perhaps rhythm, seeing as he didn’t play in Saturday’s game to rest up. Randle has struggled recently shooting, so it was unfortunate to see that trend continue. Ingram has been playing better lately, but struggled to find any kind of rhythm Sunday night.

The Lakers look to bounce back Tuesday against the Denver Nuggets at home. Tip is at 7:30 PM.

Injury notes: Tarik Black and Jordan Clarkson both sprained ankles.

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