Monday, November 5, 2012

After Three Defeats To Open Season, Star-Studded Lakers Finally Get Into Win Column

"For once, the Lakers performed as advertised.

Dwight Howard dominated in the post. The Lakers actually played defense.

And Kobe Bryant didn't have to take over, thanks to his supporting cast.

All of those ingredients ensured the Lakers' first win of the season, a 108-79 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday at Staples Center.

It's actually the team's first win in 14 games, counting its eight preseason losses and exit from the 2012 Western Conference semifinals. The Lakers (1-3) also avoided joining the 1957-58 Minneapolis team as the only squads in franchise history to start the season 0-4.

"It was a little frustrating after our first three losses," Howard said. "But we kept our composure."

The Lakers secured that outcome early against Detroit (0-3), heading into the locker room with a 62-34 halftime lead.

Howard, who posted a team-leading 28 points on 12-of-14 shooting, seven rebounds and three blocks, eclipsed his output Friday against the Clippers (13 points) by the 8:38 mark of the second quarter.

Bryant scored 15 points in only 32 minutes, a far cry from the 40-point outburst the Lakers needed from him in 43 minutes in their loss to the Clippers. The Lakers finally made defensive stops, holding the Pistons to a 36.4 percent shooting clip. Steve Blake and Darius Morris absorbed Steve Nash's absence with a mild fracture in his left leg by combining for 12 points and eight assists."

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