Bryant scores 30 points, Lakers beat Pistons

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP)—Kobe Bryant scored 30 points and helped the Los Angeles Lakers score the last 20 points of the third quarter in a 92-77 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night.

The Western Conference-leading Lakers have won four straight to pull within a victory of Cleveland’s NBA-high total of 58, and five in a row on the road for a league-high 26 this season.

Detroit reserve Will Bynum had career highs with 25 points and 11 assists and helped his banged-up team outscore the Lakers 30-14 in the second quarter to lead 42-39.

The Pistons built a 10-point lead early in the second half and were ahead by five midway through the third quarter when Bryant’s layup and Trevor Ariza consecutive putback dunks sparked a 20-0 run.

The Lakers snapped a nine-game losing streak, including three losses in the 2004 NBA Finals, at The Palace, where they hadn’t won since Jan. 8, 2002.

These days, it’s easy to beat Detroit home or away.

Detroit lost its third straight game and seventh of nine to come closer to falling out of the playoff race. The once-proud franchise fell to 18-19 at home this season and three games under .500 overall in a season that unraveled whenChauncey Billups was traded to Denver for Allen Iverson in November.

Against Los Angeles, the Pistons were without Iverson (back), Richard Hamilton (groin) and Rasheed Wallace (calf).

They expect to have Hamilton back on Saturday at Washington, where Wallace might also return, and hope Iverson will be able to play next week.

Los Angeles looked as if it was going to rout the struggling Pistons when it led 25-12, marking a low first-quarter total for an opponent, but their Bynum-led bench dominated the second quarter to make it competitive.

The Lakers, though, ended any doubts about the outcome by outscoring Detroit 31-13 in the third quarter before coasting to the victory.

Derek Fisher scored 15 points for the Lakers, and Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol each had 12 points. Detroit’s Antonio McDyess had 14 points—making him its only double-digit scorer other than Bynum—and 12 rebounds.

By LARRY LAGE

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