LOS ANGELES – Anthony Davis does not mind if he does not score a single point, as long as the Los Angeles Lakers win their games in the National Basketball Association.
On Friday, he amassed 38 points, 16 rebounds and four blocked shots and Lonnie Walker IV added 17 points as the Lakers took advantage of a four-day break and earned a 128-121 victory over the visiting Detroit Pistons.
Austin Reaves scored 16 points and Wenyen Gabriel added 15 as Los Angeles won consecutive games after coming out on top on Sunday against the Brooklyn Nets.
It was just the fourth victory of the season for Los Angeles, who have two five-game losing streaks. Lakers star LeBron James, who had been considered questionable due to a groin injury, sat out his third consecutive game.
“I’d be glad if I had zero points and we won,” Davis said on ESPN. “We’ve got to put a string of wins together to get back in this thing, but take it one game at a time.”
The forward has now scored his second straight 30-point game for the first time since February – he had 37 against the Nets.
“He’s been a monster this whole season, but definitely the last three games or so,” Reaves said. “That’s what he does, and everybody knows it.”
Russell Westbrook had 10 points and 12 assists for Los Angeles.
Thomas Bryant (eight points) and Dennis Schroder (two points) each made their season debut for the Lakers after both underwent thumb surgeries in October.
Alec Burks had 23 points and Bojan Bogdanovic added 20 as the Pistons (3-14) lost a season-high sixth consecutive game. Killian Hayes had 18 points and nine assists for Detroit, while Jaden Ivey had 17 points.
The Pistons, who dropped a 96-91 decision against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, are 0-2 to start a six-game Western Conference road trip.
The Lakers led 104-102 with 7min 52sec remaining when the Pistons’ Saddiq Bey departed with a right ankle injury. Los Angeles then went on a 14-6 run to take a 118-108 advantage with 4:07 remaining for their largest lead of the game to that point.
The Lakers shot 60 per cent (24 of 40) in the first half, while the Pistons were at 49 per cent (25 of 51). Los Angeles finished 55.1 per cent for the game, while Detroit were at 46.7 per cent.
“We’re struggling, trying to find a win,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “Everybody is going to have their opportunity, so don’t count your minutes, make your minutes count.” REUTERS