Lakers Defense Makes Statement Against Pistons With Season-High 20 Blocks
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Detroit Pistons 106-99 behind a season-high 20 blocks to extend their winning streak.

JaVale McGee was active early, blocking two shots at the rim and scoring five of the team’s 10 points including a deep three-pointer to beat the shot clock. Meanwhile, Detroit started out ice cold from the field, missing 10 of their first 11 attempts and allowing Los Angeles to take a double-digit lead.

The Lakers offense eventually slowed down as they came up unsuccessful on a few drives to the rim and open jumpers while the Pistons started to convert on their three-point looks. Despite a promising start, Los Angeles went into the second quarter with a slim 23-22 lead.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope provided a much-needed scoring lift to start the period as he knocked down two open threes to help the Lakers get back on track offensively. However, the Pistons continued to battle back and managed to cut into the lead by going on a 7-0 run capped by a Langston Galloway three.

Alex Caruso returned to the lineup after missing a game due to a calf injury and injected some life into the team with a couple of and-one opportunities driving to the rim and finding Danny Green and McGee for scores at the rim. As a result, the Lakers went into the half up 56-47.

Los Angeles bigs had done a good job of protecting the paint throughout the night and they continued to do so to start the third quarter as both Anthony Davis and McGee added to their impressive block totals. Despite that, Derrick Rose and the Pistons hung around and kept the game close midway through the quarter.

Detroit was able to take advantage of the foul situation as they got into the bonus and made several fruitful trips to the free-throw line. The Pistons closed the quarter on a 13-4 run and the Lakers found themselves down 79-75 going into the fourth quarter.

The purple and gold recaptured the lead after starting the final quarter on a 16-0 run keyed by Caruso and Dwight Howard‘s energy on both ends of the floor. However, the Pistons promptly answered with a 13-1 run of their own to get back in striking distance.

With the game tightly contested, both teams went back and forth down the stretch as Davis and Rose traded three-point baskets. Howard came up with a huge block and followed that up with an offensive rebound that led to a Davis basket which proved to be the dagger.