DETROIT (AP) — After beating the Lakers while LeBron James sat out, Detroit coach Dwane Casey was asked if he wished his Pistons had been able to face a Los Angeles team that was closer to full strength.
“I wish we could play G League teams or high school teams,” Casey said. “We’ve got to play who’s here. I’ve been through that over the years, and teams have different visions and focuses, and still, how you look at tonight’s schedule, I guarantee somebody’s going to have a tough game against one of those teams. Those guys get paid twice a month.”
Andre Drummond had 19 points and 23 rebounds , and the Pistons took advantage of James’ absence, beating Los Angeles 111-97 on Friday night. The Lakers, who have fallen well off the pace in the Western Conference playoff race, have been managing James’ minutes, and he sat out this game entirely. Los Angeles played at Toronto the previous night .
The Lakers were also without Lonzo Ball (left ankle), Tyson Chandler (neck), Brandon Ingram (right arm) and Lance Stephenson (toe), but they trailed by only four in the third quarter before Detroit went on a 13-0 run to make it 73-56. Reggie Jackson started that