NBA: Gasol, Kobe ignite Lakers to one point win over Pistons
DETROIT, Michigan—Spanish big man Pau Gasol scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Kobe Bryant added 18 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a cliffhanger 98-97 NBA victory at Detroit on Sunday.
Bryant made a 3-point play for the Lakers to help the visitors claim their fifth triumph in six games despite missing four free throws, two each from Steve Nash and Earl Clark, in the final 16 seconds.
Will Bynum missed a lay-up that would have put the Pistons ahead in the final seconds. He finished with 18 points and 10 assists while Greg Monroe led Detroit with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
The Lakers led by as much as 72-54 with eight minutes remaining in the third quarter before the Pistons battled back, closing the period with an 18-6 run.
Nash finished with 11 points and 10 assists while Clark contributed 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Gasol, who had 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the first half, helped the Lakers improve to 2-3 without star center Dwight Howard in the lineup because of a nagging right shoulder injury.
Howard, who is averaging 16.5 points and 11.9 rebounds a game, underwent platelet rich plasma therapy in Los Angeles that stimulate healing of the bone and tissue.