DETROIT — LeBron James caught the ball in transition and took one dribble before throwing down his signature one-handed tomahawk dunk, causing roars from the fans inside Little Caesars Arena.
It was the third dunk of the night for the Los Angeles Lakers' forward and each time he threw one down, the fans cheered a little louder. James' annual trip to Detroit was about the only thing that satisfied the Pistons fanbase on Wednesday night, because the home team failed to come away with a victory yet again.
Historic moments have occurred between the Pistons and Lakers before, specifically at the championship level. Two of Detroit's three championships were won against the Lakers.
However, the Pistons were on the wrong end of history on Wednesday night as they got bulldozed by a veteran Lakers team that handed them a 133-107 loss. The defeat marked the 15th consecutive loss for Detroit, which set a franchise record for the longest single-season losing streak in team history.
The game was initially scheduled to be televised on NBA TV, but the league announced that it would no longer be broadcasted nationally last week. The Lakers, coming off a 44-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, appeared more aggressive from the opening tip.
The trio of D'Angelo Russell, Anthony Davis and James led the way for Los Angeles. Russell exploded for 35 points on 13-of-17 from the field with four rebounds and nine assists. James finished with 25 points, eight rebounds and four assists with two 3-pointers.
Davis dominated inside the paint and produced a double-double of 28 points and 16 rebounds on 9-of-15 shooting. His presence was specifically felt at the free-throw line with 10-of-13 from the stripe. The Lakers held the edge in that department, which as the main reason for their success. They made 31-of-38 free throw attempts while the Pistons got to the line just 14 times, with 12 makes.
An abundance of free throws for the Lakers meant foul trouble for the Pistons. Jaden Ivey led the team with six personal fouls and it affected his rhythm all night as he totaled seven points in 19 minutes. Detroit's frontcourt of Ausar Thompson, Isaiah Stewart and Jalen Duren all finished with three fouls.
Cade Cunningham finished with a team-high 15 points, but struggled offensively on 6-of-15 shooting. Isaiah Livers was one of the only bright spots for the Pistons with 14 points off the bench on four-of-six from the three-point line. Alec Burks' shooting struggles continued as he didn't make a field goal until the 7:30 mark of the fourth quarter. He scored only five points on 2-of-7 from the field. Thompson added 12 points and six rebounds.
The game was well out of hand late in the fourth quarter with the Lakers leading by 33, but most of the crowd inside Little Caesars Arena stuck around for the final buzzer even though James, Davis and Russell were on the bench. Once the buzzer sounded, boos rang out as spectators voiced their displeasure with the newly-cemented record.
The Pistons will have a quick turnaround as they travel to the Big Apple to face the New York Knicks on Thursday night, which marks the fifth back-to-back of the season.
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