LOS ANGELES — It had been almost 20 years since an NBA team blocked 20 shots in a game until the Los Angeles Lakers swatted everything in sight in their 106-99 win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night at Staples Center.
L.A. came into the night leading the league with 7.1 blocks per game, and Anthony Davis eclipsed that mark all by himself, registering a season-high eight rejections. JaVale McGee (six blocks) and Dwight Howard (five) also put up season highs in the category.
“I mean, I think it’s just an unbelievable feat. A remarkable feat. Dwight, JaVale and AD, they just make it easy on us,” LeBron James said. “To know that you have that safety net behind you … it’s a heck of a luxury.”
It became a laborious night for the Pistons as the Lakers blocked 25.6% of their shot attempts (20 of 78), making it the highest percentage of blocked shots in a game since blocks became an official statistic in 1973-74, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau.
“Obviously it was a huge factor in the game,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “Our three big guys just played exceptional basketball. I think we as a group were not happy with giving up 68 points in the paint against the Pelicans. That was sort of the theme of our film session yesterday, and those guys took a lot of pride in protecting our rim tonight. Twenty blocks, that’s pretty special. Those guys did a great job.”
Detroit was limited to 32 points in the paint, a stark improvement from Friday night against New Orleans.
“They are No. 1 in the league right now blocking shots,” Pistons forward Christian Wood said. “They showed that today, and they do