Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/14

Game 1: Friday, November 14th
Game 2: Tuesday, November 18th

Lakers 96

(8-3, 3-3 away)

Pistons 106

(7-4, 4-1 home)

7:30 PM ET, November 18, 2003

The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

1 2 3 4 T
LAL 23 26 25 2296
DET 25 29 19 33106

Top Performers

Los Angeles: K. Malone 20 Pts, 5 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

Detroit: C. Billups 24 Pts, 4 Reb, 8 Ast

Lakers lose third straight on road

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Detroit's depth beat the star power of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Chauncey Billups had 24 points and eight assists to lead a balanced attack for the Pistons in a 106-96 win over Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

Six Detroit players scored in double figures and its bench outscored Los Angeles' reserves 45-14.

"They've got some of the greatest players in the history of the game, but I like our by-committee approach," Billups said. "We can play with anybody. We've got so many players that could be playing 30 minutes a night on most teams and we've got the best bench in the league."

Ben Wallace had 12 points and 15 rebounds -- despite bruising his shoulder and back during the game -- for the Pistons, and Richard Hamilton scored 14. Detroit reserves Corliss Williamson scored 14, Mehmet Okur had 13 and Bob Sura scored a season-high 10 points.

"They had a lot of players that really helped them off the bench," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "That was a key."

The Lakers have been unbeatable at home, with a 5-0 record, and average on the road, where they fell to 3-3 with their third straight road loss.

"We're not playing the way we should," Jackson said. "We're giving up too many points on the road."

In 31 foul-plagued minutes, Shaquille O'Neal had 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Karl Malone scored 20, and Gary Payton added 15 points and five assists.

Kobe Bryant scored 19, but was 4-of-14 from the field.

"He didn't have a good night," Jackson said.

Bryant left the locker room quickly after the game and did not respond to questions before boarding the team bus.

Detroit won a game with 20 lead changes and nine ties because it made 57 percent of its shots, outrebounded the Lakers 47-26 and took advantage of O'Neal's fouls.

"We were lucky that he got into foul trouble," Detroit coach Larry Brown said.

Midway through the first quarter, O'Neal had three fouls, and he was whistled for a fourth with 4:47 left in the half. He left the game with five fouls with 1:16 to go in the third quarter, and stayed on the bench for nearly six minutes.

"I had to be careful because of the fouls and I don't like playing that way," O'Neal said. "We just made too many mistakes. We've got to get better on defense."

The Lakers were ahead 72-70 when O'Neal left the game, but when he came back they were down 85-80. Detroit went ahead 91-82 with 4:22 left, and Los Angeles couldn't get closer than five.

"We won a lot of games the past two years because we were deeper than most teams we played," Wallace said. "And we're going to do it again this year."

Game notes

O'Neal passed George Gervin for 25th on NBA's career scoring list with 20,709 points. David Robinson is next at 20,790. ... Malone aggravated a hamstring injury, but expects to play Wednesday at New York. ... C Zeljko Rebraca (back spasms) was put on Detroit's injured list, and F Darvin Ham was activated. Brown said Rebraca's absence would create more playing time for Darko Milicic, the No. 2 pick in the draft, after facing the Lakers. Milicic did not play Tuesday, a day after the 18-year-old got his driver's license.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 96 106
FGM-FGA 38-81 (.469) 42-74 (.568)
3PM-3PA 1-8 (.125) 2-9 (.222)
FTM-FTA 19-23 (.826) 20-24 (.833)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-27 14-46
Assists 25 23
Turnovers 8 17
Steals 6 6
Blocks 3 5
Fast Break Points 2 2
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 24 (1/0)

Top Performers

Los Angeles
Karl Malone Malone
Points: 20
Reb: 5
Ast: 5
Stl: 2
Blk: 2
Chauncey Billups Billups
Points: 24
Reb: 4
Ast: 8
Stl: 0
Blk: 0