Losing a 17-point lead sent the Los Angeles Lakers into double overtime, yet they survived a scrappy Detroit Pistons squad. The Lakers’ 135-129 victory dimmed a marquee night for Pistons forward Josh Jackson who scored a season high of 28 points off the bench.
Pistons head coach Dwane Casey noted that Jackson is a “wild card” for the team and the “scoring punch.”
“He comes in and shakes things up,” Casey said. “They concentrate so much on Jerami (Grant) and the other people that he’s loose for a shot or driving in transition.”
After losing to the Pistons 106-107 on January 28, the Lakers desired to avenge their loss.
“We bring out the best in the Pistons and they’ve had two really good games versus us,” Lakers forward LeBron James said. “We give our credit where credit is due, they played well.”
Six Lakers players scored in the double digits, forward LeBron James led the squad with 33 points and 11 rebounds. Pistons forward Jerami Grant had 32 points; Jackson and center Mason Plumlee tied for eight rebounds.
The Lakers secured the win by only landing nine three-point shots while scoring 72 points in the paint.
“We’re just trying to play the game, just trying to make the right reads on the offensive end,” said Lakers guard Dennis Schröder said.
The Lakers came out the gates early by pushing the pace and scoring in transition, creating a 12-5 run. However, Detroit found their way to the free-throw line. Jerami Grant initiated a three-point scoring rhythm for the Pistons. Anthony Davis led all scorers with 12 points as the Lakers trail 27-29 going into the second quarter.
While Detroit relied on three-pointers, the Lakers worked to outrun their opponents. Guard Svi Mykhailiuk gave the Pistons a lead early in the second, but the Lakers created a 10-point lead from lay-ups and close baskets.
Grant blocked one of Davis’ shots and guard Delon Wright hit a buzzer-beating three, but that did not thwart the Lakers as they went into halftime ahead 63-54.
“[Detroit] kept playing hard, they got hot from behind the arc,” said Lakers head coach Frank Vogel. “When you’re playing with a lead, you have to have extra attention to the three-point line, we didn’t have that.”
Midway through the third phase, the Lakers lost their shot. As their offense made a resurgence, the Lakers’ defense began to wane. This gave Wright and Josh Jackson scoring opportunities. The Lakers went into the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead.
Jackson made a quick 6-2 run in the final phase, reducing their deficit to six points. After reaching 106 points, the Lakers went on an offensive drought, allowing the Pistons to tie with them in the final seconds of the fourth quarter.
The Lakers relied on ball movement when they quickly fell behind by four. With 18.1 seconds left, Davis scored a dunk to tie the game at 118. James knocked down three-pointers to secure the Lakers’ win.
“I’m happy with the way guys fought,” Jackson said. “I feel like we’re learning from every game, win or lose, as long as we take something away from it.”