Los Angeles Lakers at Detroit Pistons Preview
The Detroit Pistons could use some wins to solidify their playoff spot. After looking like they were gaining some ground, they’ve had a tough week that has brought them back down to earth. They’ll host the Los Angeles Lakers tonight in a game LeBron James may not play in because it’s the second game of a back-to-back.
The Pistons are 34-33 and seventh in the Eastern Conference. They retain a two-game advantage over the Miami Heat and are just a half-game out of sixth place. The Pistons are 7-3 in their last 10 and they have lost their last two games. The Lakers are 31-37 on the season and are 11th in the West. They are 2-8 in their last 10 and lost last night. They are 7.5 games behind the eighth-place Clippers with just 14 games remaining.
The Pistons and Lakers last met on January 9, with the Lakers winning 113-100. The Lakers were led by Kyle Kuzma, who went off for 41 points. Blake Griffin led the Pistons with 16 points and six assists.
Time: 7:00pm ET
Arena: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
Channel: NBA TV
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
The Lakers had a big win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday, but they could not use that momentum to get past the Toronto Raptors last night. The Lakers lost 98-111 as they struggled on offense all night.
The loss all but eliminates the Lakers from the playoff picture, although the NBA has not made the designation yet.
“I mean obviously I would love for the team to be in the postseason,” Lakers forward LeBron James said. “Even if I’m not a part of it, the postseason I’ve always loved. But right now it’s not the hand I was dealt, so you play the hand that you were dealt until the dealer shuffles the cards and you’re dealt another hand and can do that. Definitely, I’ll be watching it if we’re not in there.”
James finished with 29 points and six assists in 32 minutes. Because of his minutes restriction and the decision to sit him in the second game of back-to-backs, he will likely not play against the Pistons tonight.
The Lakers had only two other players score in double figures, with Rajon Rondo finishing with 13 points and eight assists, and Alex Caruso adding 16.
Detroit Pistons Starting Lineup
The Detroit Pistons have suffered two blowout losses in a row. On Monday night they lost 75-103 to the Brooklyn Nets and on Wednesday night, they were embarrassed by the Miami Heat in a 74-108 loss.
The Heat got out to a quick 30-18 lead in the first quarter, and the Pistons offense sputtered in the third as they only managed eight points, while the Heat scored 33 points.
“It’s a lesson that we have to learn,” coach Dwane Casey said. “If we want to make the playoffs, we have to play playoff basketball. It’s new to a lot of people with different roles and it’s a wakeup call.”
Blake Griffin led the Pistons in scoring with 13 points but had just four rebounds. His frontcourt mate, Andre Drummond, ended his streak of double-doubles with five points and nine rebounds. Wayne Ellington added 11 points and Luke Kennard had 10 points.
Los Angeles Lakers at Detroit Pistons Betting Odds
The Pistons are 12-point favorites to win tonight’s game at home. They are 21-13 at home and 23-6 as the favorite. The Lakers are 13-21 on the road and 9-19 as the underdog.
The over/under is 216 points and the Pistons are -800 on the moneyline.
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