LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jordan Hill led seven Lakers in double figures with 16 points, and Los Angeles beat the Detroit Pistons 93-85 on Tuesday night to snap a five-game losing streak.
The injury-riddled Lakers (17-46) beat the Pistons for the 11th time in the last 12 meetings behind 46 points in the paint and a 46-41 rebounding edge, but were officially eliminated from playoff contention before their game ended when New Orleans beat Brooklyn.
Greg Monroe had 24 points and nine rebounds for the Pistons, but missed a pair of critical free throws with 1:09 remaining and Detroit trailing by three. Andre Drummond had 21 rebounds along with 14 points, but couldn’t prevent Detroit’s seventh straight loss.
The Pistons trailed by as many as nine before slicing the deficit to 78-74 with a fast-break dunk by Monroe and a 3-pointer by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with 5:55 remaining. They got as close as 85-82 on a fast-break layup by former Laker Jodie Meeks with 1:42 left. But Hill helped put it away with a 20-footer in the final minute and Jeremy Lin added four free throws.
Caldwell-Pope hit a 3-pointer with 5.3 seconds left in the half to give the Pistons a 50-49 lead at intermission. But they missed their first eight shots of the third as the Lakers went on an 8-0 run that Detroit’s Tayshaun Prince ended on a driving layup with 5:43 left in the quarter.
Pistons: The Pistons are 4-4 when Drummond gets 20 or more rebounds. … Meeks, who spent the previous two seasons with the Lakers and shot under 90 percent on free throws in each of them, is leading the NBA from the line this season (92.3 percent) . … The Pistons shot just 38.6 percent from the field. They’ve reached 50 percent just four times this season and once on the road. … Detroit is 2-34 when trailing after three quarters. … The Pistons’ other meeting with the Lakers this season resulted in a 106-96 defeat that came during Detroit’s 13-game losing streak. … Prince, who returned to the Pistons on Feb. 19 in a trade with Boston, needs 119 more points to become the eighth player with at least 10,000 in a Detroit uniform.
Lakers: Kobe Bryant, out for the season after rotator cuff surgery, reiterated that his plans are to return for a 20th season — and possibly beyond. “Who said I was retiring? It was never a question for me whether or not I was going to play next year,” the NBA’s No. 3 career scorer said. “It’s discouraging. You have an injury and you have another one and you have another one — it’s discouraging. But I’ll respond to it the same way I always have: just sticking to the process.” Injuries have limited Bryant to just 41 of 144 games since the start of last season. The team is 44-101 without him in the lineup, but only 12-29 when he’s played. … No Laker has scored 30 or more points since Dec. 9, when Bryant had 32 for the sixth and final time this season in a 98-95 win over Sacramento. … Guard Jabari Brown, the leading scorer in the NBA Development League this season with a 24.4 average for the Los Angeles D-Fenders, signed a 10-day contract.
Pistons: At Golden State on Wednesday.
Lakers: Host New York Knicks on Thursday.
This article was written by Joe Resnick from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.