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Lakers fall to Pistons in Summer League group play finale

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Despite holding top-10 picks Cade Cunningham and Killian Hayes out of Saturday’s game, Detroit took care of the Lakers.

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2021 Las Vegas Summer League - Detroit Pistons v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Jeff Bottari/NBAE via Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons cruised against the Lakers in the last of their four scheduled games of 2021 Las Vegas Summer League pool play, easily defeating the purple and gold 103-86 on Saturday night despite not playing 2021 No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham.

The Lakers had a rough shooting performance for the second straight night, hitting just 42.9% of their shots from the field. In his first summer league start, Tres Tinkle was one of the few standouts, showing off some of the shooting that helped propel his Oregon State Beavers to a 2021 NCAA tournament run to the Elite Eight with 13 points on 55.6% shooting.

The Lakers also got double-digit scoring performances from Trevelin Queen (11 points) and Chaundee Brown (10 points). Unfortunately for them, fan favorite Mac McClung had possibly his worst summer league performance yet, with just 3 points in just over 13 minutes, though he did tally 4 assists. Two-way players Austin Reaves and Joel Ayayi also failed to make much of an impact — Reaves had 9 points in 16 minutes, and Ayayi had 7 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists in 23 minutes.

Detroit led by as many as 14 in the first half, but the Lakers stormed back in the second quarter, channeling their inner Mamba Mentality with a 24-8 run before the Pistons responded to take a 48-43 lead into halftime. But Detroit pulled away for good in the third quarter, maintaining a double-digit cushion for most of the second half.

The Pistons sat Cunningham and 2020 No. 7 pick Killian Hayes for their final game in Vegas. That allowed several other prospects, including 2020 19th pick Saddiq Bey, 2021 second-round center Luka Garza, and two-way point guard Saben Lee to get some shine, and the less heralded summer Pistons were up to the challenge.

All five of Detroit’s starters finished with double-digit scoring—Bey had 13, Garza had 20 and Lee had a game-high 22.

For the Lakers, rotation players Yoeli Childs, Vic Law and Justin Robinson sat the entire game, which Lakers summer league head coach Quinton Crawford said on Friday would happen so the team could take a look at some of the other guys on the roster.

The Lakers finish 2021 Las Vegas Summer League pool play with a 2-2 record, and will play a final, not-yet-scheduled consolation game in Vegas on Monday or Tuesday.

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