11/29 00:05 CST LeBron has 33 points, Lakers beat Pistons in calm rematch
LeBron has 33 points, Lakers beat Pistons in calm rematch
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) --- LeBron James and Isaiah Stewart had no Round 2 in the
Lakers' rematch with the Pistons.
James was too busy making sure Los Angeles got the same decision he wasn't
around to see last week in Detroit.
James had 33 points, nine assists and no confrontations with Stewart in the
Lakers' 110-106 victory Sunday night.
Russell Westbrook had 25 points and nine assists, and Anthony Davis added 24
points and 10 rebounds. The Lakers returned to .500 with their second win over
Detroit in eight days, rebounding from an embarrassing triple-overtime loss to
Sacramento on Friday.
"That Sac game lingered with us for a couple of days, giving that game away,"
Davis said. "I think we did a good job defensively tonight, getting this
kick-start to a winning streak."
Stewart was booed repeatedly and zealously by the Lakers' crowd, but he
appeared to have no significant interactions with James after both players were
ejected from the teams' meeting in Detroit a week earlier for an ugly
James was assessed a Flagrant-2 foul and ejected when he hit Stewart in the
face while they jockeyed for rebounding position. An infuriated Stewart
repeatedly attempted to charge at James in the aftermath, earning his own
ejection. James served a one-game suspension and Stewart got a two-game ban.
Stewart kept the pot stirring Friday by saying he didn't think James' blow had
been accidental, as James claims it was. The 20-year-old Stewart is 3 1/2 years
older than James' oldest son, Bronny.
James was well past the brouhaha before the rematch.
"We were mad as heck the other night after that Sac loss," James said. "We made
it a point to come in today very focused on our game plan, learning from our
mistakes, and we got better. Right there lets me know we're a team that cares
and wants to get better."
The Pistons also didn't feel there was any extra juice to the rematch.
"It's just basketball," Jerami Grant said. "Things happen on the court, but
you've got to get your mind right and get ready to play."
Grant scored 32 points and No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham had 15 points and 11
rebounds in the Pistons' sixth straight loss. Detroit followed up its 11-point
loss to the Clippers at Staples Center on Friday by being more competitive
against Los Angeles' other team, but falling short again.
Stewart had five points and six rebounds in 27 minutes in the rematch.
"We did a great job moving the ball," Grant said. "Almost played a complete
game. We had a mental lapse in the third quarter and let them get a lead, but
other than that, I think we played well."
Los Angeles once again failed to pull away from a struggling opponent, but
still beat the Pistons at Staples Center for the fifth straight time.
The Lakers ran out to a 19-point lead in the third quarter with a 16-0 run, the
most consecutive points they've scored this season. But Los Angeles has rarely
sustained any significant stretch of good play this season, and the Pistons got
to 97-91 with 5:48 left with a 13-2 run.
Grant's free throws cut the lead to 108-104 with 16.7 seconds left, but the
Lakers hung on.
"It's disappointing (not to win more convincingly), but at the same time I
understand the process," Westbrook said. "Adversity is something that I think
is great in life in general. It builds character. It shows who you really are
when things aren't going your way."
Pistons: Kelly Olynyk missed his 10th straight game with a left knee sprain.
... Frank Jackson scored 17 points.
Lakers: Austin Reaves got his first action since Nov. 8, going scoreless in six
minutes. The rookie missed 10 games with a hamstring injury. ... Wayne
Ellington scored five points on his 34th birthday. The Lakers have five players
older than him. ... James said he didn't aggravate his recent abdominal injury
in a late collision: "I'll be ready to go Tuesday."
Detroit coach Dwane Casey praised his young team's improvements on offense,
including 29 assists on 38 field goals and 39.4% shooting on 3-pointers.
"We found the open guys and made our shots," Casey said. "The only concerning
part with the offense is our (17) turnovers. That's huge. That's 17 attempts
you take away for shooting the ball in a five-point game. Careless passing. We
put our finger in one hole, and another one opens up. Nobody gets a
participation trophy. Close doesn't count."
Pistons: At Portland on Tuesday night.
Lakers: At Sacramento on Tuesday night.
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