Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis push for Lakers’ unpredictable return versus Pistons after LeBron James out

For most of the three-quarters on Sunday, Los Angeles Lakers seems to have hit a new low. They follow the unlucky Detroit Pistons. LeBron James to be Push out, and likely to be suspended, the Lakers did not have the exact position to turn the tide. The three-game losing streak threatens to turn into something much worse. With 27.4 seconds left in the third quarter, the Pistons . guardian Frank Jackson delivered a shock to push Detroit to a 17-point lead. The Lakers are headed for a “worst loss of the season.”

And after that Russell Westbrook made a change of its own. The Lakers have put together a few stops and groups of their own. Westbrook scored again. And one more time. And one more time. And one more time. In the first six minutes and fourth-half altercation, Westbrook gave the Lakers 11 points. The athleticism that has made him special throughout his career is on full display.

Furthermore, he has scored in a way that the Lakers will need him to score if they hope to compete for the championship. While his work of picking and rolling and isolating cut the lead, the last attempt to force it came to Westbrook as a cutter. With the Lakers trailing by four, Westbrook’s men left him alone to help counter Davis. Davis hit him just below the basket for the easiest point of the night. A few innings later, he scored in a similar fashion to take the game up to 109th.

Westbrook sparks a comeback. Davis finished it. He scored 10 points in the last 5 minutes, but it was his defense that really shone. In one possession of the key, he blocked the #1 pick overall Cade Cunningham twice.

When Detroit needed a 3-pointer to send the game into extra time, a Davis intercept effectively closed the game.

“We have to win tonight, you know, with Bron coming out,” Westbrook said after the game. “We have to find a way to win games, especially in the top lane, and tonight was a hell of a win for all of us.” If there is anything that counts as a must-win in November, Westbrook may be right that this is one of them. The season isn’t even a quarter over yet and the Lakers have sacrificed quite a bit on the leaderboard. They track the top seeds Golden Empire Warriors by six games. The team that beat them after last season, Phoenix Suns, has now won 11 consecutive games. Threats such as miner and Slippers, who have only gotten healthier as the season progresses, are ahead of them right now.

The Lakers have seen firsthand how disappointing early-season losses can derail their season. They certainly don’t want a part showing up in another match. Winning is essential if they want to avoid it, but that’s all that led to Sunday’s return.

Westbrook, who has struggled with a less ball-bearing role all season, needs to make a point without the ball in hand. Davis, still adjusting to predominantly central play, was left defenseless this season as the Lakers went into the game against the Pistons, placing 21st on that end of the floor. They need him to do the kind of play he’s been doing for a long time.

They need energy to power this comeback. The Lakers looked listless for more than half on Sunday as the younger, more nimble Pistons took control of a game the Lakers desperately needed. Whether it was James’ elimination, the absence of Detroit’s main belt guard or merely the realization that they couldn’t take another breakout loss at the start of the season, something hit wake the Lakers and lead to this comeback. Hopefully that’s something that can hold up for the rest of this trip and beyond. Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis push for Lakers’ unpredictable return versus Pistons after LeBron James out


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