In From Jersey, Lakers Brace for Pistons

Josh Powell, Shannon Brown, Will BynumOn Saturday night, the Lakers beat not just the New Jersey Nets, but also a major East Coast snowstorm, escaping from Jersey on a late-night flight that arrived in Mo-Town at approximately 3:02 a.m. Sunday morning.

Lakers beat writers Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register, Mike Bresnahan and Brad Turner of the L.A. Times and Elliott Teaford of the L.A. Daily News weren’t so fortunate, with most flights out of the East being canceled due to the plethora of white fluff.

But don’t worry … Lakers.com will be there for you (you can follow us on Twitter: @LakersReporter). Also in town is radio voice Spero Dedes, who took a one-game hiatus to call the UCLA – Notre Dame game for CBS.

This will be the second and final time the Lakers face the Pistons, whom they beat 106-93 on Nov. 17 behind 40 points from Kobe Bryant, who was “recovering” from a tweaked groin earlier that week. Andrew Bynum had a nice game with 17 points and 12 rebounds as Pau Gasol had yet to play due to his strained hamstring.

Since Gasol’s return, however, the Lakers have been (knock on wood) among the league’s healthiest teams, while the Pistons are just the opposite. Detroit was without veterans Richard Hamilton (hamstring) and Tayshaun Prince (back) in the November matchup, and both of whom will miss tonight’s game as well. Meanwhile, gunner Ben Gordon is a game-time decision with an injured ankle, leaving Rodney Stuckey and Charlie Villanueva to handle the scoring load.

Speaking of scoring … it’s not something the Pistons have done well this season, averaging just 93.7 points, also known as 27th in the NBA, while allowing 95.7 points against them, which is the sixth fewest (think: slow pace). The Lakers, meanwhile, rank seventh in points scored (103.7) and fifth in points allowed (95.1) for a league-second-best second place in point differential (+8.6), all while allowing the worst field goal percentage against in the NBA (42.3 percent).

The game tips off at 3 p.m. Pacific, and can be seen on KCAL and heard on 710 ESPN.

We’ll see you there.