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Lakers 108, Pistons 79

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers' fantastic foursome finally had its coming out party.

However, it came a few games late, and without a quarter of the star-power.

With Steve Nash sidelined due to a non-displaced fracture in his left leg, the other half of the Lakers' offseason haul took over. Center Dwight Howard scored 28 points in Los Angeles' 108-79 win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night at Staples Center.

The Lakers lost their first three games of the season before Sunday's runaway win. The Pistons fell to 0-3.

Howard connected on 12 of 14 field-goal attempts -- but only four of nine free throws -- to go along with seven rebounds and three blocks.

Howard led five Lakers in double figures, as a balanced effort helped dispose of the Pistons easily. Los Angeles jumped out to a 34-13 lead after the first quarter and never let Detroit back into the game.

Metta World Peace added 18 points for the Lakers, and Kobe Bryant contributed 15 in Los Angeles' first win of the season, which was over before halftime.

Jonas Jerebko led Detroit with 18 points, and Kyle Singler (11 points) and Will Bynum (10) added double figures off the bench. However, none of the Pistons' starters scored more than Tayshaun Prince's nine. Detroit's starting lineup connected on just 11 of 39 shot attempts (28.2 percent) and combined for just 27 points.

The Lakers held Detroit to 35 percent shooting from the field and forced 16 turnovers while winning the rebounding battle 46-33.

Howard connected on eight of nine shots in the first half to lead the Lakers with 20 points.

Los Angeles led 62-34 at halftime. Howard was far from the only contributor, as Los Angeles had four players in double figures over the first two quarters. World Peace chipped in 11 points, and Bryant and Pau Gasol each added 10. The Lakers shot 62 percent (23-for-37) in the first half, improving on their season average of 49.8 percent.

The Pistons, meanwhile, shot just 38.9 percent (14-for-36) from the field and committed 12 turnovers. The backcourt tandem of Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight combined for 0-for-11 shooting. Bynum tried to pick up the slack, contributing nine first-half points.

Bryant, who played through a strained and bruised right foot, wound up with a seven rebounds and a game-high eight assists. Gasol finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, and reserve center Jordan Hill added 11 points and seven boards.

Nash sat out a second consecutive game, and the Los Angeles Times reported he be sidelined for four weeks.

"You obviously hope he's back as soon as possible, but the one thing you don't want to do, you don't want to compromise his long-term health for him coming back quicker than he should," Lakers coach Mike Brown said, according to the Times.
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