The Los Angeles Lakers weren’t able to get back to their winning ways on the road Thursday, as they fell to the Detroit Pistons 107-92. The Lakers have lost their last two games — their first consecutive losses of the season — and are now the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference behind the Utah Jazz and LA Clippers.
The Pistons aren’t a good team, or at least they haven’t been for most of the season, but as we’ve seen in most of the Lakers’ games this season, their opponents get up to play them. That’s just the territory that comes with behind the defending champions.
It also didn’t help that Anthony Davis was sidelined with a right quad contusion. Even with how slow Davis has started the season, he’s still the team’s second-leading scorer and their best rim protector, the latter of which they could have used against the big and athletic Pistons.
The Lakers still should have won this game, though. They have an MVP candidate in LeBron James, who once again played over 35 minutes on Thursday; they have high quality starters in Dennis Schröder, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marc Gasol and yes, Kyle Kuzma; and they have one of the deepest rosters in the NBA, if not the deepest.
Yes, they’re on the tail end of their longest road trip of the season in the midst of a global pandemic that has more or less confined them to their hotels, but those are just the circumstances they’re going to have to play through this season. They have to be better than this.
The Lakers will try and snap their losing streak on Saturday, when they’ll visit the TD Garden to take on their bitter rivals, the Boston Celtics, but the Celtics but they’ve looked sharp since Jayson Tatum returned to the lineup, so this will be another test physically and mentally. We’ll see how they respond.