(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Lakers weren't even located in the West
Coast the last time they started 0-4.
The Lakers hope to avoid that dubious distinction this evening versus the
winless Detroit Pistons at Staples Center.
Expectations for the Lakers were set at extreme heights when they landed
coveted center Dwight Howard and veteran point guard Steve Nash to play
alongside superstar Kobe Bryant, but so far the team is still searching for
chemistry and its first win of the season.
Head coach Mike Brown could be getting hot under the collar, as the Lakers
dropped their season opener versus Dallas, before losses to Portland and the
Clippers. In Friday's L.A. showdown, Bryant made 14-of-23 shots for 40 points
in a 105-95 setback at Staples Center. Howard had 13 points and eight
rebounds, and Pau Gasol ended with 10 points and 14 boards.
"It's the same song over the last couple of games, 20 turnovers and giving up
25 points off those turnovers, that's tough," Brown said. "Twenty second-
chance points off nine offensive rebounds, that's tough. We didn't play a
The Lakers, who were winless (0-8) in the preseason, are 0-3 for just the
fourth time in their history and first time since the 1978-79 season. The only
time the Lakers began 0-4 was in 1957, when Minneapolis dropped its first
The Lakers played without Nash, who sat out with an inflamed lower leg and is
expected to miss some time. Steve Blake started in place of Nash, a two-time
MVP, and had eight points. Bryant had two steals to pass Magic Johnson as the
all-time career franchise leader.
Detroit is trying to dodge its third straight 0-3 start Sunday. It dropped a
season-opening game versus Houston at The Palace, then suffered a 92-89 loss
at Phoenix Friday in the opener of a six-game trek.
Tayshaun Prince had 18 points and Jason Maxiell added 16 and six rebounds for
the Pistons, who will also visit the Nuggets, Kings, Thunder and Rockets on
their West Coast trip. Brandon Knight had 13 points and 10 assists in defeat,
as the Pistons were outscored, 26-7, to close out the first half.
"We had some very good looks," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "But when
you're missing open shots or things aren't going your way, you have to be able
to defend. Our inability to get consistent stops during dry spells determined
Promising center Greg Monroe registered 10 points and six boards. Forward
Corey Maggette (calf) is expected to miss Sunday's game and is three rebounds
shy of 4,000 for his career.
Detroit won the lone meeting with the Lakers, 88-85 in overtime, last season
to halt a five-game slide in the series. The Pistons, though, have dropped 10
of their last 13 against the Lakers as the guest.
The Sports Network