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NBA highlights on Nov. 28: Lakers sweep Pistons at home
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LeBron James (#6) of the Los Angeles Lakers drives toward the rim in the game against the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 28, 2021. /CFP

LeBron James (#6) of the Los Angeles Lakers drives toward the rim in the game against the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 28, 2021. /CFP

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Detroit Pistons 110-106 at Staples Center on Sunday, sweeping their Eastern Conference opponents for the season.

Home fans of the purple and gold booed Isaiah Stewart, who almost caused a gang fight after clashing with LeBron James at Little Caesars Arena on November 21.

Perhaps that affected him, Stewart was only 2-7 in field goals (FGs) to get five points and six rebounds for the Pistons on Sunday night. By contrast, James shot at 12-20, including draining four triples to drop 33 points, five rebounds, nine assists and two steals. Russell Westbrook had 25 points, six rebounds and nine assists. Anthony Davis got 24 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and two blocks.

The Lakers managed to move their record back to .500 (11-11) thanks to the great performance by the team's "Big Three."

Anthony Davis (#3) of the Los Angeles Lakers blocks a shot by Isaiah Stewart of the Detroit Pistons in the game at Staples Center, November 28, 2021. /CFP

Anthony Davis (#3) of the Los Angeles Lakers blocks a shot by Isaiah Stewart of the Detroit Pistons in the game at Staples Center, November 28, 2021. /CFP

However, defeating a tanking team that ranks 14th in the East by a margin as small as four points was not exactly what the Lakers or their fans expected from a franchise that targets the championship.

The first half of Sunday's game was quite close because neither the Lakers nor the Pistons were able to launch effective offense. The Pistons had no reliable playmaker or any visible system. The only one who could produce something offensively was Jerami Grant, who was 11-20 in FGs and 4-6 from downtown to get 32 points, six rebounds and four assists.

Cade Cunningham was able to impress you from time to time, but generally, he still does not have what it takes to make a difference on the court. Scoring a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds did not cover the fact that it cost him five turnovers to deliver two assists, or his unreliable jumpers (4-12).

Jerami Grant (#9) of the Detroit Pistons dunks in the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center, November 28, 2021. /CFP

Jerami Grant (#9) of the Detroit Pistons dunks in the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center, November 28, 2021. /CFP

However, the Lakers were not much better than their opponents in playmaking. When the whole team only made four shots out of 14 attempts from downtown, they made every of their offensive play look like work by an old, unlubricated machine. The Pistons' defenders had nothing to worry about when they left the 3-point line open and closed in around the paint.

That changed only when James, Davis and Talen-Horton Tucker all drained 3-pointers in the third quarter. That gave Westbrook and Davis some breathing room to work under the rim. Meanwhile, the Pistons committed six turnovers in Q3, giving the Lakers some valuable opportunities to score easy points in fast break.

Russell Westbrook (#0) of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots in the game against the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center, November 28, 2021. /CFP

Russell Westbrook (#0) of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots in the game against the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center, November 28, 2021. /CFP

Having established a 13-point lead (83-70) before the fourth quarter, the purple and gold almost ruined their home win again shooting at 2-13 in jumpers, including 1-9 in behind the arc. By contrast, the Pistons began to grow hot at the 3-point line. Going 5-15 was not lethal, but good enough to scare the Lakers into a cold sweat.

The purple and gold saved themselves by going 9-10 under the rim. Westbrook and Davis combined scored 10 points in the paint.

"We made it a point to come in today very focused on our game plan, learning from our mistakes, and we got better. Right there lets me know we're a team that cares and wants to get better," James said.

"I think we did a good job defensively tonight, getting this kick-start to a winning streak," Davis said.

Stephen Curry (#30) of the Golden State Warriors complains to the referee in the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center, November 28, 2021. /CFP

Stephen Curry (#30) of the Golden State Warriors complains to the referee in the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center, November 28, 2021. /CFP

Curry can be intimidating when he's angry

The Golden State Warriors beat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-90 at Staples Center on Sunday, claiming their eighth straight win.

Stephen Curry put down 33 points, five rebounds, six assists and six steals for the Warriors, he also made seven triples, becoming the fastest player in NBA history to reach 100 threes by doing so in 19 games. The second-fast record of 20 games also belonged to Curry who did it twice in the 2015-16 and 2018-19 season.

That explained why Clippers fans cheered "MVP" for Curry at Staples Center.

Jordan Poole of the Golden State Warriors shoots in the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center, November 28, 2021. /CFP

Jordan Poole of the Golden State Warriors shoots in the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center, November 28, 2021. /CFP

Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue was well-prepared to face Curry and the Warriors. Double-teaming of Curry could happen anywhere on the floor and he always kept a big man in the paint. Moreover, all defenders would try their best to get physical chasing Curry. They were lucky because the referees on Sunday did not feel much like blowing the whistle.

As a result, Curry had 13 points in the first half, but shot at only 4-11 in FGs. Fortunately for the Warriors, he made extra defensive contributions with five steals.

The turning point of this game first happened in the third quarter when Jordan Poole went 4-7 from downtown to get 15 points in Q3 alone. His explosion made the Clippers pay for focusing all attention on Curry.

Stephen Curry (#30) of the Golden State Warriors shoots in the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center, November 28, 2021. /CFP

Stephen Curry (#30) of the Golden State Warriors shoots in the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center, November 28, 2021. /CFP

Then came the Curry time in Q4. He drained three straight triples to score 13 points, smashing the last resistance of the Clippers. He even made a technical foul calling move as part his celebration.

"I thought I got fouled, so I let my emotions go," Curry said after the game. "And definitely fired me up, fired our team up – you have to be able to direct that energy into just putting the ball in the basket, obviously, after that. So that's where I feel like we do it well, where you don't let it become a distraction for the rest of the game, and it obviously helped open up the game."

Other games on Sunday (away teams come first):

Milwaukee Bucks 118-100 Indiana Pacers

Sacramento Kings 101-128 Memphis Grizzlies

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