PISTONS NOTES: Pistons' inside game falls to Lakers outside shooting
Detroit scored 76 points in the paint, which is a season-high in the NBA this season, but it wasn’t enough to defeat Los Angeles’ outside shooting.
The Lakers hit 14 3-pointers, while the Pistons hit just 1 of 8 in the Los Angeles’ 106-102 victory.
The Lakers shot 45.2 percent from 3. Wesley Johnson went 6 for 7, while Shawne Williams was 6 or 11.
“We gotta figure out our defensive schemes,” Pistons guard Brandon Jennings said. “We’re switching like five plays down then the next we’re not. Guys are just confused down the stretch. We need to figure out from the coaches from us, we all need to figure out what are we doing and what defenses are we in.”
Jennings scored six straight points to put the Pistons up 99-91 with 4:22 left Friday. The Pistons scored just three points the rest of the way.
The Lakers went on a 12-0 run before Jennings hit a jumper with 50.2 seconds left.
Jennings had a chance to tie the game when he was fouled shooting a 3-pointer with 16.7 seconds, but hit just one of the three free throws.
“I kind of put that on myself for missing those two free throws down the stretch,” Jennings said. “That’s something I live for. I’m a guy that’s been known to knock them down. To see two of them rattle in and out, that hurts.”
Los Angeles’ Jordan Farmar missed two free throws, leaving the door open for the Pistons.
Detroit went to Rodney Stuckey on their final two possessions. Stuckey missed a running layup on the first one, but the Pistons caught a break when the rebound went off the Lakers.
The Pistons went to Stuckey again and he was forced to pass to Josh Smith, who was called for a charge.
“I missed a layup that I should have made when I took the ball out,” Stuckey said. “The last play, I didn’t have anywhere to go so I wasn’t trying to force it. Josh was right there, I threw him the ball. It’s just what it was. At the end of the day it’s a game. We’ll watch game film, try to get better, try to get one on Sunday.”
Jennings didn’t touch the ball on the final two Pistons’ possessions despite scoring Detroit’s last 11 points. Jennings was 5 for 7 in the fourth quarter. He was asked if he wanted the ball on the final possessions and said, “Yeah of course.
“Not even trying to shoot the ball, just trying to make something happen,” Jennings said. “We also got another guy, Stuckey, who can make something happen too. He’s way stronger than me so he can get in there and get fouls. I kind of feel like I had it going a little bit in the fourth, knocking down some shots and also getting to the basket. But hey we just gotta roll with it.”
Andre Drummond picked up his fourth foul with 9:09 left in the third quarter. Pistons coach Mo Cheeks elected not to play Drummond the rest of the game, sitting Drummond the final 21 minutes.
“I could have did that, but I thought we needed to score,” Cheeks said of putting Drummond back in the game. “That was the reason why I didn’t. He had the four fouls and (the Lakers) had the small lineup out there. When they had the small lineup out there I thought we needed to score, that’s why I kept Greg (Monroe) in the game as opposed to Andre. But hindsight is 20-20. I could have put him back in and he probably could have got a couple of those rebounds because one possession they had three or four offensive rebounds and that allowed them to get another 3-point shot.”
The Lakers had six offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter, including three on one possession during Los Angeles’ 12-0 run that saw the Lakers go from down eight to up four.
Drummond finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds in 16 minutes. He put the blame on himself for not playing much in the second half.
“It’s tough,” Drummond said. “I made a stupid play, got a foul, got my fourth, have to sit on the bench. It was my fault. I should have never took the foul, but it happens. It’s a domino effect, one thing leads to another and everybody starts to fall.”