AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Pau Gasol (213-F/C-80) had 23 points and 10 rebounds and was the last line of defense for Los Angeles, contesting Detroit's last-second alley-oop attempt and helping the Lakers hold on for a 98-97 victory over the Pistons on Sunday.
Los Angeles blew an 18-point third-quarter lead but went back ahead for good on Kobe Bryant's driving three-point play with 1:09 remaining. That gave the Lakers a 98-95 lead, and they held on despite missing four free throws in the final 16.8 seconds.
The normally reliable Steve Nash missed two with 2.7 seconds left, giving Detroit one more chance. Down by one, the Pistons inbounded from midcourt with 1.2 seconds to play. They tried a lob to rookie big man Andre Drummond, but with Gasol contesting the play, Drummond couldn't convert his one-handed dunk attempt.
The Lakers have won five of six, including their last two games without Dwight Howard. The All-Star center has been out with a right shoulder problem.
Detroit was still without guard Jose Calderon, who the Pistons acquired from Toronto on Wednesday. Calderon has not been available to play because of unresolved visa issues.
The Lakers trail eighth-place Houston by 3 1/2 games in the Western Conference playoff race.
Bryant scored 18 points but shot poorly from the perimeter. After an airball with the score tied at 95, he decided to drive to the basket the next time down. Bryant muscled through a foul and scored a basket that was counted on a continuation call.
Detroit's Will Bynum cut the lead to one, and after Gasol missed, Drummond missed a baseline fadeaway that would have given the Pistons the lead. Earl Clark missed two free throws for Los Angeles with 16.8 seconds left, but Bynum's driving shot over Gasol went off the glass and rattled in and out.
Nash entered the game as a 90.4-percent free throw shooter for his career - the top mark in NBA history for players with at least 1,200 attempts.
When he missed two in the final seconds, the Pistons shockingly had a chance to win, but Drummond just missed his dunk attempt and looked surprised that no foul was called on the play.
The Lakers scored 10 straight points early in the third quarter to take a 72-54 lead. Bryant highlighted that run with a one-handed dunk while Detroit's Brandon Knight tried in vain to prevent an easy basket.
The Pistons rallied quickly, with the 6-foot-11 Drummond showing off his athleticism around the basket. Drummond's two-handed dunk over Gasol made it 76-70, and the Lakers led 78-72 after three.
Bynum had 18 points and 10 assists for the Pistons, and Greg Monroe added 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Clark had 17 points for Los Angeles. Nash had 11 points and 10 assists.
Detroit's Rodney Stuckey was called for his third foul in the first quarter, then picked up a technical to boot. The Pistons did their best to exploit the Lakers in transition, but Knight missed a layup in the second quarter, and Kyle Singler missed one of his own moments later.
Detroit turned the ball over nine times in the half, and the Pistons finished the second quarter with a terrible defensive breakdown. Bryant was inbounding around midcourt with 0.4 seconds left in the half, and Clark somehow slipped free for an alley-oop dunk at the buzzer that gave Los Angeles a 62-51 lead.
The Lakers did a better job defending that situation on the final play of the game.
NOTES: Knight became tangled with Metta World Peace of the Lakers with 1:43 left in the first half. That got a rise out of the crowd, which no doubt remembered World Peace's role in the infamous ''Malice at the Palace'' brawl on the Pistons' court in 2004. World Peace was assessed a flagrant foul this time, but the situation didn't escalate. ... Bryant had five assists, snapping his streak of five straight games with at least eight. Courtesy of: The Associated Press
EuroLeague: Balanced offence leads Real past Zalgiris - 1 day ago
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Real Madrid - Zalgiris 96:91 Real Madrid claimed the eighth victory in EuroLeague regular season. They held off visiting Zalgiris in the Spanish capital on Thursday. Six players scored in double digits for the hosts. Luka Doncic (201-PG-99) led the effort with 17 points. Real dropped 25 points in the first period to take a 3-point lead. Zalgiris denied the deficit in the second term. The Lithuanian powerhouse tied things up at 49 heading into the second half. Real regained the advantage... [read more]
Real Madrid - Zalgiris 96:91
Real Madrid claimed the eighth victory in EuroLeague regular season. They held off visiting Zalgiris in the Spanish capital on Thursday. Six players scored in double digits for the hosts. Luka Doncic (201-PG-99) led the effort with 17 points. Real dropped 25 points in the first period to take a 3-point lead. Zalgiris denied the deficit in the second term. The Lithuanian powerhouse tied things up at 49 heading into the second half. Real regained the advantage after the long break. The hosts poured in 25 points in the third term to take a 5-point advantage. They protected the lead throughout the fourth quarter and registered a tough win at the end. Gustavo Ayon (207-C/F-85, college: San Jose St.) had 14 points and 7 rebounds, while Felipe Reyes (204-PF-80) added 12 points for the hosts. Kevin Pangos (188-PG-93, college: Gonzaga) answered with 19 points for Zalgiris. Brock Motum (208-F/C-90, college: Washington St.) had 17 points in the loss.
ICL Manresa (Liga Endesa) inked 27-year old Ukrainian international power forward Igor Zaytsev (210-99kg-89). He already started the season at Stelmet Zielona Gora in Polish PLK league, but left the team in Dec.'16,. In 9 games he averaged 4.8ppg and 2.0rpg this season. Zaytsev also played 7 games in Basketball Champions League where he had 4.1ppg and 2.7rpg. The last season he played at Rosa (TBL) in Polish league. In 40 games he recorded 10.8ppg and 5.1rpg. Zaytsev helped them to win th... [read more]
ICL Manresa (Liga Endesa) inked 27-year old Ukrainian international power forward Igor Zaytsev (210-99kg-89). He already started the season at Stelmet Zielona Gora in Polish PLK league, but left the team in Dec.'16,. In 9 games he averaged 4.8ppg and 2.0rpg this season. Zaytsev also played 7 games in Basketball Champions League where he had 4.1ppg and 2.7rpg. The last season he played at Rosa (TBL) in Polish league. In 40 games he recorded 10.8ppg and 5.1rpg. Zaytsev helped them to win the cup and make to league final. He also played 9 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he got 11.6ppg, 4.2rpg and 1.2apg. Among other achievements Zaytsev received Eurobasket.com All-Ukrainian Superleague Most Improved Player of the Year award and Eurobasket.com All-Ukrainian Superleague 2nd Team award back in 2011. He has been also a member of Ukrainian international program for some years. Zaytsev has regularly played for Ukrainian senior team since 2010 and previously for U20 National Team between 2008 and 2009. He also represented Ukraine at the European Championships last year. His stats at that event were 5 games: 8.2ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 40.0%. Zaytsev has quite traveled the world as his pro career brought him to three different continents (Europe, Asia and of course North America). Zaytsev has played previously professionally in Iran (Petrochimi) and Ukraine (Azovmash, Kryvbas, Khimik and Krivbas DYUSH-5 Kryvyi Rih). His game is described as:
A very good outside shooter for his size, he's very effective at both the 5 and 4 positions.
Carlson's 31-point game gives him LEB Gold Player of the Week award - 2 days ago
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25-year old power forward Mike Carlson (206-F/C-91, agency: Duran International) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for league's best team Gipuzkoa GBC and receives a Eurobasket.com LEB Gold Player of the Week award for round 13. He had the game-high 31 points adding nine rebounds and two assists for Gipuzkoa GBC as his team lost the game against Castello (#13, 5-8) 73-79. Despite this loss Gipuzkoa GBC managed to keep Spanish LEB Gold leading position. They afford to l... [read more]
25-year old power forward Mike Carlson (206-F/C-91, agency: Duran International) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for league's best team Gipuzkoa GBC and receives a Eurobasket.com LEB Gold Player of the Week award for round 13. He had the game-high 31 points adding nine rebounds and two assists for Gipuzkoa GBC as his team lost the game against Castello (#13, 5-8) 73-79. Despite this loss Gipuzkoa GBC managed to keep Spanish LEB Gold leading position. They afford to lose this game, but they have to be very careful to avoid similar "accidents". Gipuzkoa GBC has a very solid 9-4 record, but they cannot be too comfortable about keeping top position. In the team's last game Carlson had a remarkable five three-pointers out of 10 attempts. He turned to be Gipuzkoa GBC's top player in his first season with the team. Truman State University graduate has very impressive stats this year. Carlson is in league's top in points (5th best: 15.7ppg) and averages solid 40.9% from behind 3-point line.
Second best performed player last round was Zaid Hearst (193-G) of Araberri. He is American-Nigerian guard in his first season at Araberri. In the last game Hearst recorded impressive 29 points and 9 rebounds. Of course Araberri cruised to a 94-82 relatively comfortable win over the higher-ranked Palencia (#5, 9-4). This victory allowed Araberri to move up to 8th position in the standings. His team lost some distance to top teams. But 8-5 record is not bad and everything may still change. Hearst is a newcomer at Araberri and quickly became one of team's most reliable players. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 19.2ppg (#2). He also registered 4.2 boards per game.
Third place about best performers goes to guard Nikola Rakocevic (191-G-91, agency: Dynamics Global Management) of Caceres (#11). Rakocevic got into 30-points club by scoring exactly 30 points in the last round. He was a key player of Caceres, leading his team to a 83-78 win against the lower-ranked FC Barcelona II (#18, 2-11). The chances of Caceres ranking at the top of the league, however are very questionable as they have already lost 7 games, recording just six victories. With bigger assistance of his teammates, Rakocevic could help Caceres to bring them higher in the standings. Rakocevic has a great season in Spain. After 11 games, he made it on the list of the league's leaders in points with 17.0ppg (3rd best).
Other top performing players last week: 4. Alberto Fontet (213-C-86) of Huesca - 19 points and 8 rebounds 5. Oliver Arteaga (208-C-83) of Melilla - 23 points and 3 rebounds 6. Jordi Trias (208-F-80) of FC Barcelona II - 15 points, 15 rebounds and 2 assists 7. Jose Salvador Arco (196-G-84) of Breogan - 25 points and 3 rebounds 8. Pep Ortega (201-PF-84) of Prat - 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists 9. Nikola Cvetinovic (203-PF-88) of Araberri - 19 points and 11 rebounds 10. Felipe Dos Anjos (218-C-98) of Oviedo - 14 points and 9 rebounds
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
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