LeBron James takes charge in 2nd overtime as Los Angeles Lakers slip past Detroit Pistons, 135-129
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES — LeBron James scored eight of his 33 points in the second overtime, Anthony Davis added 30 points and the Los Angeles Lakers narrowly avenged a loss in Detroit last month with a 135-129 victory over the undermanned Pistons on Saturday night.
Dennis Schroder had 22 points and eight assists in the defending NBA champions’ fourth consecutive victory since that 107-92 loss to the Pistons nine days ago.
The Lakers committed a season-high 23 turnovers, blew a 17-point lead and wasted several chances to win in regulation. Only James’ brilliance in the second overtime prevented Los Angeles from being swept by the 5-18 Pistons, who were playing without Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin on the second night of a back-to-back set to close out an eight-day West Coast trip.
“Give them credit,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “They kept playing hard, and they got hot from behind the arc. We didn’t do things well enough, and they were able to get back in the game.”
Moments after James hit the go-ahead layup in double OT, he made a tough step-back 3-pointer with 1:17 left and added another step-back 27-footer with 34 seconds to play.
“I was just ready to go,” James said. “I’m 36 years old, and … my heart is not sustainable for two overtimes at this point in my career. I’ve got a bottle of wine at home ready to be opened, and I delayed it for two overtime periods.”
Jerami Grant scored 32 points and Josh Jackson added 25 of his 28 after halftime for the Pistons, who had another improbably strong showing against the NBA’s elite. Delon Wright scored 22 points in Detroit’s fourth consecutive loss since beating LA.
“We can definitely build off it,” Wright said. “If we take the champions to double overtime, that means we can compete with anybody in this league on any given night.”