Four minutes and 59 seconds into the game, Rip Hamilton was called for fouling Kobe Bryant. Clearly frustrated (or perhaps not), the Detroit Piston veteran continued to jaw at NBA official Derrick Stafford until he was forced to hand Hamilton two consecutive technicals, resulting in his early game ejection. Hamilton took off his faceguard, took off his headband, untucked his jersey, and walked off the court. There’s your leader, Detroit. No wonder you look so lost.

The Bad Boys’ era is ancient history, and the hopes of more Championship Pistons Basketball disappeared the minute Chauncey Billups was sent packing off to Denver. Not even the monster signing of Ben Gordon could revive the Pistons and the last couple of seasons have begged the question: What or who is going to keep this Detroit team running?

Thankfully, the Lakers (occasional lapses of complacency and boredom aside), are a well-oiled machine and they’ve got the slickest of grease monkeys in Kobe Bryant. After Hamilton’s ejection, Bryant hit four free throws in a row to give the Lakers a 15-7 lead. By the end of the first quarter, he had 14 points on 4-6 from the field, but he wouldn’t stop there. He hit a jumper to give the Lakers a 10-point lead, then followed it with a one-handed floater to give them a 12-point lead. Bryant may have hit a baseline jumper from all corners of the Palace tonight. By halftime, he had 24 points on 8-13 from the field. He was one rebound away from a double-double with 33 points on 11-20 (3-6 from 3PT), nine rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Never to be outdone by that Kobe guy were, again, the Odom-Gasol duo. There aren’t enough words to describe the impact the Lakers’ frontline talent and skill has on the Lakers’ success and on other teams’ demise. Odom had 15 points on 5-8, 14 monster rebounds, not to mention four assists. Gasol had 25 huge points on 10-17, 12 rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block. Two well-rounded games from two truly renaissance men of the NBA.

Odom and Gasol play so succinctly together, that most times it appears as if one nod or one twitch of the eye sends the other moving in the right direction or position to receive an assist or to hand one out. In the third quarter, Odom threw a right-handed, behind the back pass to Gasol for a hoop and 1 and that gave the Lakers their biggest lead, 76-50. Having ONE of them to contend with is maddening enough, but TWO? The Pistons had no answer for either, let alone both.

The Lakers won the battle of the boards tonight, 42-30 (13-11 OFF). Their 12 turnovers have looked worse, but with the Pistons only making five mistakes, the Lakers could stand to take better care of the ball. They shot 47% to the Piston’s 40% and converted on 7-16 from behind the arc. Matt Barnes, in for only a few seconds, hit one instantaneously when he entered the game.

In two days the Lakers have a rematch with the Minnesota Timberwolves in their city of origin. Hopefully Kevin Love’s 24 rebounds from the last time the two teams met (or his 31 rebounds in a recent game) is a stat that L.A. will keep from coming to fruition.

Phil Jackson breaks the season’s wins in a unique way – be the first to ten, then the first to 20, and so on. With this, the Lakers are the first to 10. So far so good.

Box Score
Pre-game Thoughts:
The Pistons are certainly not what they used to be, but like every opponent they meet, they cannot be overlooked by the Lakers. Hopefully last night’s win against Milwaukee has the Champs charged up for another great contest.
Half-time Thoughts: 59-45 – Kobe Bryant’s leading the way with his 24 points on 8-13 (62%)!! The Lakers are shooting 57% as a team and have held the Pistons to 43% shooting.
Most Thoughtless Player(s) of the Game: There’s one on each side tonight. First, Rip Hamilton, for jawing at official Derrick Stafford so much that he got hit with two technicals and ejected with 7:01 minutes left in the 4th quarter. Way to ditch your team! Second, Sasha Vujacic – His minutes are already scarce, but he spends the time he DOES get on the floor shooting every chance he gets, rather than playing the game right. He went 1-6 in 5:45 minutes of play and was partly to blame for the huge lead getting reduced as much as it did in the final quarter.
Most Thought-filled Player(s) of the Game: Kobe Bryant and his 33 points! He also had nine rebounds, four assists and two steals. No one’s thinking about that knee now, right?

  • gugy

    Lakers lood good baby.

  • Robert.

    Starters looked good. Bench a little sloppy. This should change once Drew comes back, since he will be a starter, and Lamar can be “in charge” of the bench.
    On a similar note, on the post game show, Harlem Globetrotter ‘great’ Meadowlark Lemon was asked who he thinks are the best players in the league. He mentioned Kobe (of course), and 2nd ….. Lamar Odom?! Yes, he commented that Lamar can play (and has played) all 5 positions, just like Magic Johnson. He didn’t mention any Heat in his list!

  • jang

    What other NBA superstars will wake up wearing Tony Parker’s underwear?

  • Lucid

    Rip was ejected in the first quarter. Great win tonight, the Lakers seemed to be in cruise control almost the whole game.

    • lakerman1

      The Refs are getting ridiculous with the new rule. The players do over complain but no way Rip should have been ejected. 1st Lamar with the T for holding his hands up in the air and now this. Heres my take copmplain but don’t look at the ref when you do it. The calls usually even out.

      • Jack

        I think tonight’s was the league’s way of evening out all the bad Ts on Lamar?

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    way to step up for the cup-cakes. lets pat each-other on the back and pad our stats………lakers play nobodys really well.

  • jang

    What other NBA superstar will wake up wearing Tony Parker’s underwear?

    Poor, poor Brent Barry….

  • Kobe4Life

    Great win guys! Keep it up Lakers, I smell a three-peat coming our way!

  • Richard

    Remember it’s Detroit though not Boston. The Lakers look really good though

  • 3PeatOC

    • 3PeatOC

      Shannon doing it big in Hollywood.

  • 3PeatOC

    Oh yeah Ron’s in this video too.

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    softest back to back in NBA history………bucks ,pistons.really?couldn`t fit new jersey in there?

  • laffs atu more..

    step to 3peat is building up! yeah baby!:)

  • laffs atu more..

    others dont have a home team they can call thats why they try to stay and fit in the lakersnation. Nevermind them please because they will never be a part of lakersnation. go Lakers

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