LeBron James avoids a ridiculous

Some Lakers with their heads in another place throw their advantage and need two extra time to overcome the worst team in the NBA, some proud Pistons.


In the Regular Season there are matches like this. It's that simple. The calendar, the little desire to compete and the null concentration of those who are much superior cause surprises and have games that should be placid at the hysterical end. The Lakers are 18-6 and have won seven of the last nine. One of the two losses was by one point and in the last second, in the fearsome Philadelphia. The other, a sweep of the Pistons, the worst team in the NBA (5-18 now) in the only game they have lost in double digits (107-92: they didn't show up to play). Well, days after scorching the Nuggets, a tall rival, the Lakers once again left decorum at home and, totally clueless, were one hair short of finishing their match of the year with the Pistons 0-2.

Just a hair: two overtimes were played, and Jerami Grant (tremendous and so longed for by the Nuggets: 32 points, 6 assists), had a good shot to decide at the end of the first overtime. He failed, and in the second LeBron decided to avoid the ridicule of his team, scored 8 points and sentenced with a three-point shot from the right side (131-124 in the last minute). He ended up playing more than 46 minutes (in sin he took the penance) and added 33 points, 5 rebounds and 11 assists ... and also 7 losses, some simply incomprehensible. To be thinking about something else. Anthony Davis also played a lot (more than 45 minutes) and had 30 points (with 5 rebounds). And he also added some important baskets in overtime, including the dunk that forced the tie before Grant's ruling at the close of the first, a stretch in which, to complete the sainete, the Lakers were hysterical with the referees. Surely right, but in a situation where they simply shouldn't have seen each other.

But it was one of those games: the Lakers made 56% of the shots, and 47% of the triples, but accumulated 23 losses, their top of the season. For many minutes, the game was a question of when the Angelenos would be minimally serious. And they did it between the second quarter and the third, with a little defense to reach an 80-63 with 16 minutes to play. It should have been enough, but another nap ended at 106-106 after four minutes without scoring and a quarter was 0-6 with a series of catastrophic misses from LeBron, including penetration that would have prevented overtime.

How did the Pistons get there? For energy and professionalism, basically. Without Blake Griffin (who is already very little) or Derrick Rose (in exit rumors already very serious), they gritted their teeth to the rhythm of Grant, Mason Plumlee (15 + 8 + 6), Delon Wright (22 points, 10 assists ) and a Josh Jackson who had 3 points at halftime and finished with 28. Between Wright and Jackson they signed a 9/14 in triples, three to reengage the Pistons from that -17. It was one of those nights for the Lakers, who gave up comfortable shots and extra possessions with absolute ease (and reluctance, at times). But in the end, between one thing and another, they preferred to win when they were already involved in a second extension.

In a game to add the victory and look very quickly the other way, the flashes of the tremendous Talen Horton-Tucker, 10 points and 4 assists in 21 minutes with a poster dunk to close the third quarter, rejoiced a bit. Beyond LeBron and Davis, who rolled up their sleeves in time, had good minutes Kuzma (especially in the first half: 14 points and 6 rebounds), Schröder (22 points, 8 assists and a pulse at the end with free throws) and a Caruso who was totally decisive in the first overtime, when he scored six points in a row (of his 10 total) when things really got ugly (106-110). The Lakers, among things and others and with a final arreón of LeBron, finally avoided a ridiculous defeat and the Pistons lost with the head very high. For the rest it was, yes, one of those Regular Season nights ...

Photos from as.com
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