The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their first road loss of the season on Thursday night as the Detroit Pistons claimed a shock 107-92 win over the defending NBA champions. The Lakers scored only 34 points in the second half -- the fewest number of points scored nz the Purple and Gold in any half since LeBron James joined the franchise in 2018.
Also, the Pistons won the fourth quarter 25-14 to seal the win. "I think we just weren't connected defensively at the level we were kind of supposed to be," said Kyle Kuzma, whose 22 points and 10 rebounds were spoiled by the Lakers' late collapse.
"Individually, everybody made mistakes and collectively with those made the team defense suffer a little bit."
James not finding excuses for Lakers' loss
James was near a triple-double as he scored 22 points, had seven rebounds and 10 assists but it wasn't enough for the Lakers.
"I mean, we still have games to be played, work to be done," James said. "We got to continue to get better, and you can't really get your mind into the grasp of how many days you are on the road or whatever the case may be.
Every team does it. Every team hits a long road trip. We're professionals. "We got to keep our minds fresh, keep our bodies fresh as much as we can to go out there and put together a complete 48-minute game, or close to 48 minutes.
Obviously we haven't done it the last couple of games, and we just got to be better on Saturday." After beating the Miami Heat 4-2 in the NBA Finals and winning the title last season, the Lakers lost several players and added a couple of new players to the team.
"We're a brand-new team," Kuzma said. "We're playing like 14 people. It's a tough situation. Obviously, we're working through things. The coaching staff is trying to figure out rotations and figure out what works with what best, what players can play certain lineups.
And that's just the point of the season we're in." The Lakers still have two more road games to play as they are set to meet next the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks. "We'll be fine," Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said.
"You have nights like this in a long season. We'll be fine. We'll bounce back. Not happy, none of us are happy with how we played tonight, but we'll bounce back."