Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant scored 30 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers used a 30-5 run in the third quarter to defeat the shorthanded Detroit Pistons, 92-77, at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Bryant finished with eight rebounds and seven assists for the Lakers, who have won seven of eight and hold a comfortable 10-game lead over the San Antonio Spurs for the Western Conference lead with 11 games to play.
The Lakers trailed, 50-40, early in the third quarter before going on their extended run to take a 15-point lead heading to the fourth, where they cruised to the victory. Derek Fisher contributed 15 points, while Pau Gasol had 12, with 11 rebounds, in the win.
Detroit continued to miss Richard Hamilton (groin), Rasheed Wallace (calf) and Allen Iverson (back) and was led by a career-high 25 points from Will Bynum. Antonio McDyess had 14 points and 12 boards for the Pistons, who lost for the sixth time in seven games and are only one-half game ahead of the eighth-place Bulls in the East
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The Lakers closed the first quarter on a 14-4 burst to go ahead, 25-12, but the Pistons came roaring back in the second.
Detroit held LA without a point for the first 5:12 of the second quarter, scoring 17 straight points in the process to go in front. Walter Herrmann contributed two three-pointers, and McDyess' jumper ended it with the Pistons holding a 29-25 advantage.
The hosts led by as many as eight in the quarter before the Lakers closed it to 42-39 at halftime.
LA closed to within 42-40 in the third before Detroit ripped off eight straight points to make it 50-40 on another McDyess jumper. The Lakers answered with eight points of their own and went ahead, 56-55, on a fast break dunk by Ariza with just under five minutes left in the quarter.
The Lakers followed with the next 14 points and carried a 70-55 edge into the fourth. Bryant had six of the points, as Detroit went the last 6:41 of the third without a point.
The Pistons closed to within 72-62 on a couple Arron Afflalo free throws early in the fourth, but the team never got closer than 10 down the stretch. Bryant's jumper midway through the quarter made it 80-64, and the game was never in doubt down the stretch.