Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles Lakers survived a scare from the Detroit Pistons as they overcame a wild ending to preserve a 98-97 win.
The Los Angeles Lakers blew an 18-point lead but held on at the end to defeat the Detroit Pistons 98-97 at the Palace. The Pistons mounted a big comeback in the second half and some shoddy free-throw shooting by the Lakers opened the door.
Los Angeles missed four free throws in the final 16 seconds of the game that could have iced it. Earl Clark missed the first two with 16.8 remaining. Detroit nearly took the lead when Will Bynum's driving attempt rattled out and Steve Nash ended up with the rebound and was fouled. Nash then went to the line and missed two himself giving the Pistons one last chance with 1.2 seconds remaining. Detroit tried a lob to the rim and Andre Drummond was unable to guide it in as time expired.
Pau Gasol got the start for the injured Dwight Howard and turned in a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Kobe Bryant chipped in 18 while Clark added 17 points and 10 boards. Nash finished with 11 points and 10 assists.