Lakers vs. Pistons: Lakers defeat Pistons
Final: Lakers 106, Pistons 93
But the Lakers held on for a 106-93 victory, breaking a two-game losing streak.
Kobe Bryant, who played with a strained right groin, had 40 points. It was the 100th 40-plus point game of his career.
The game had already become competitige after the Lakers saw their 28-point lead trimmmed to 13 points early in the fourth quarter.
Then the game grew testy.
Shannon Brown tried to drive in for a dunk, but had it blocked by Jason Maxiell, who glared at Brown.
Then after Maxiell shoved Andrew Bynum in the back, the two squared off.
Nothing happened by some trash-talking and both Maxiell and Bynum getting technical fouls.
THIRD QUARTERS, Lakers 88, Pistons 63
In building a 28-point lead in the third quarter, the Lakers played more determined basketball.
It sure was a better brand of hoops than they displayed in the first quarter, when the Lakers were sleepwalking.
Kobe Bryant, who got off to a slow start in the first, mising his first four shots, came up big the rest of the game.
Through three quarters, Bryant had 35 points in helping the Lakers open an 88-63 lead over the Pistons after the end of the third.
HALFTIME: Lakers 57, Pistons 42
The bad start by the Lakers in the first quarter turned into a much better second quarter.
Behind Kobe Bryant, the Lakers opened a 57-42 lead at halftime.
Bryant had 13 of his 21 first-half points in the second quarter.
The Lakers shot 54.3% from the field in the first half.
FIRST QUARTER, Lakers 23, Pistons 22
The Lakers looked as if they didn't have any energy in the early part of the first quarter, especially Kobe Bryant, who missed his first four shots.
The Lakers actually fell behind by seven points before taking a 23-22 lead over the Detroit Pistons at the end of the first.
Bryant had eight points on three-for-eight shooting.
Despite a strained right groin, Kobe Bryant suited up for Tuesday night's game against the Detroit Pistons.
It's an injury that Bryant has been dealing with for over a week but was just revealed after Sunday night's game.
When Bryant showed how limited he was during Sunday's loss to the Houston Rockets, things didn't look good.
"I thought he was possibly going to be out for some of this week when I saw how he left the court the other night and knowing that he's been struglilng with this for a while," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. "But he wanted to practice yesterday, he wanted to get into the rhythm of things and did it."
Jackson said they will monitor Bryant during the game.
Pau Gasol missed his 11th consecutive game with a strianed righit hamstring.
The Lakers are hopeful that Gasol can play Thursday night against the Chicago Bulls.
"I asked him if he could play tonight," Jackson said. "He said, 'I don't feel ready.'''
-- Broderick Turner
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