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Lakers 106, Pistons 96

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Updated 12 months ago on
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Jordan Hill powered for 22 points and 13 rebounds and Kobe Bryant overcame a scoreless first half to contribute 12 points and a season-high 13 assists as the Los Angeles Lakers downed the sputtering Detroit Pistons 106-96 on Tuesday at The Palace.

Hill, the starting center, scored 14 second-half points. Reserve guard Nick Young contributed 19 points, power forward Carlos Boozer added 14 and small forward Wesley Johnson chipped in 13.

Bryant had all 12 of his points in the third quarter when Los Angeles (5-13) outscored Detroit 35-20.

Forward Josh Smith topped the Pistons (3-15), who have lost nine straight and 12 of their last 13, with 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Point guard D.J. Augustin tossed in 13 points.

Leading the league in scoring at 26.6 points per game, Bryant missed five field-goal attempts in the opening half and committed four turnovers but did have a team-high five assists as the Lakers led 46-45 at halftime.

Boozer and Young scored 10 points apiece, while Smith led the Pistons with 15 during a half when neither team led by more than five.

Bryant remained a facilitator early in the second half, assisting on the Lakers’ first four baskets. He finally broke into the scoring column on a turnaround jumper with 7:25 remaining in the quarter to extend the lead to 60-51.

The points then came in a torrent as Bryant hit the 12-point mark in a 2:05 span. He made a reverse layup after a turnover by Detroit point guard Brandon Jennings, then knocked in a 3-pointer after a Smith giveaway. He finished that stretch with a pull-up jumper for a 70-54 lead.

Los Angeles’ lead grew to as much as 21, 81-60, when Young made three free throws after being fouled beyond the arc.

The Pistons cut the deficit down to 10 midway through the fourth before Lakers coach Byron Scott put his starters back on the court. Behind Hill, the Lakers never let the Pistons get closer than seven points.

NOTES: Pistons F Greg Monroe came off the bench for the second straight game. Coach Stan Van Gundy is trying a smaller lineup with Josh Smith in that spot and Kyle Singler at small forward. “Nothing is set in stone,” Van Gundy said. “We haven’t found a lineup where we can say ‘Well, that one works real well.'” … Lakers G Kobe Bryant was averaging 23.3 points per game against Detroit in 30 career games, his third lowest against any opponent. He’s averaged 22.5 ppg against Brooklyn (New Jersey) and 22.6 against Atlanta. … Los Angeles swept the two-game series from Detroit the past two seasons. … Pistons G Jodie Meeks, who injured his back during training camp, could be cleared to practice sometime this week. He was signed as a free agent after averaging 15.7 ppg for the Lakers last season. “He’ll add a lot to our shooting and scoring but also with his energy and ball movement, those types of things,” Van Gundy said.

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