Recap: Lakers fall to Pistons 102-97 in close game

Sunday’s game was the Lakers’ attempt to end their three-game losing streak and it didn’t go as planned. In a tightly contested match, the Pistons came away with the 102-97 win.

The Lakers started off the game hot and held multiple double-digit points early on. For the majority of the first half they were dominating the game led by D’Angelo Russell who had 14 points.

In an a way that mirrored their season so far, the Lakers started to fall apart and slowly lost their lead with a buzzer beating heave by Andre Drummond to end the first half.

The third quarter started off with the Lakers going on a small run to take the lead, but it mostly consisted of both teams trading points. While it was mostly uneventful, Tarik Black came out of the game with an injury and Ivica Zubac, the GOAT, came into the game.

The fourth quarter was for the most part similar to the third in which no team ever took a big lead. The Pistons were able to execute better down the stretch, getting several open looks and making enough to take the five-point win.

Zubac is getting better

Sunday’s game was Ivica Zubac’s third game in less than 48 hours; he played in an afternoon game for the Lakers yesterday and then playing for the D-fenders a few hours later. Most importantly this was Zubac’s third straight game in which he was actually on the court for the Lakers. He played nine minutes and in that time he had a stat line of four points, 5 rebounds, two blocks, and one assist. He showed off his improved defense as he had two blocks and affected shots at the rim on numerous occasions.

While nine minutes may not seem like a lot, they are for Zubac. He hasn’t played much this year and has been shuffled back and forth between the Lakers and D-League. He showed off his improved skills tonight and in turn Luke Walton may start to play him more often. I for one am excited.

D’Angelo is good again (He’s always been good)

D’Angelo started off the month averaging over 20 points and six assists per game, but has had a couple rough games since then. In the previous game he only made one field goal and only took seven shots.

On Sunday, he rebounded in a big way despite the loss. He didn’t make any three pointers but on two point shots he was 8-13 and looked improved from the post and midrange. He did have a couple of dumb turnovers, including one that led to an improbable buzzer beater three from Drummond.

He may be inconsistent but that’s just a part of being young. Young players, including those already labeled as “future superstars,” aren’t perfect every game in their second year. They’ll have highs and lows and tonight was definitely one of those highs as he finished the game with 20 points, three assists, and seven rebounds.

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2 comments

  1. […] D’Angelo Russell is averaging around 30 minutes a game in the month of January, an increase from 26 minutes a game last month. The Lakers are slowly trying to boost Russell’s minutes after his knee injury in December. The problem, though, is not Russell’s overall playing time, but it is more specifically the allocation of his minutes, especially in the fourth quarter. […]

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  2. […] Fortunately for the Lakers, Denver is almost as atrocious defensively as they are (they allow 0.1 points per 100 possessions fewer than the Lakers which is really an insignificant number on that scale.) This has the makings of a high-scoring game and whichever team can get the most stops in crunch time will likely come away with the win. Working to the Lakers’ favor is that the Nuggets are on their second night of a back-to-back and that the Showtime jerseys are magical, giving them a chance to break their four-game losing streak. […]

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