Lakers hold on to beat Pistons 98-97

Lakers hold on to beat Pistons 98-97
February 3, 2013, 3:42 pm
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Detroit Pistons forward Jason Maxiell (54) and teammates confront Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace after his flagrant foul on Pistons guard Brandon Knight during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Mich., Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

(APWF)

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) Pau Gasol had 23 points and 10 rebounds and was the last line of defense for Los Angeles, contesting Detroit's last-second alley-oop attempt and helping the Lakers hold on for a 98-97 victory over the Pistons on Sunday.

Los Angeles blew an 18-point third-quarter lead but went back ahead for good on Kobe Bryant's driving three-point play with 1:09 remaining. That gave the Lakers a 98-95 lead, and they held on despite missing four free throws in the final 16.8 seconds.

The normally reliable Steve Nash missed two with 2.7 seconds left, giving Detroit one more chance. Inbounding from midcourt with 1.2 seconds to play, the Pistons tried a lob to rookie big man Andre Drummond, but with Gasol contesting the play, Drummond couldn't convert his one-handed dunk attempt.