By NOAH TRISTER, Associated Press
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Rodney Stuckey scored 34 points, and the Detroit Pistons overcame a tying shot by Kobe Bryant at the end of regulation Tuesday night, beating the Los Angeles Lakers 88-85 in overtime.
Bryant's basket at the buzzer forced the extra session, but he missed from 3-point range in the final seconds of overtime. Metta World Peace came up with the ball and dribbled back toward the top of the key, but his last-ditch turnaround missed as well.
Andrew Bynum had 30 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers.
Bryant finished with 22 points on 8-of-26 shooting. He started the game with black mask protecting his injured nose but switched to a clear one while struggling through the first half.
In front of a rare sellout at The Palace — with Gladys Knight performing at halftime — the Pistons won despite scoring only nine points in the third quarter. Down 74-71 in the fourth, Stuckey shook free of Bryant with a nifty crossover dribble, stepping back to make a shot from near the free throw line. He then put the Pistons ahead with a driving layup.
World Peace stole the ball near midcourt and went the other way for a layup to put the Lakers ahead 76-75, but Stuckey's 3-pointer with 9.8 seconds left gave the Pistons a two-point lead.
As the clock ticked down, Bryant calmly dribbled to his right and sank a shot from about 17 feet over Tayshaun Prince to force overtime.
Neither team led by more than three in the extra session, and the Pistons won by forcing the Lakers to take bad shots from the perimeter late. With the Pistons up 86-85, World Peace forced a 3-pointer with the shot clock running down. After that miss, Stuckey drove hard to the basket and drew a foul, sinking both free throws with 36.8 seconds remaining.
Bryant missed a quick 3-pointer from the top, but the shot clock was still on for the Pistons, who had to settle for a perimeter shot by Jason Maxiell that missed badly. The Lakers rebounded and called a timeout.
The Pistons had a foul to give and used it immediately on Bryant. When the Lakers inbounded again, Bryant — perhaps anticipating another foul — tossed up a quick shot that missed. Although World Peace had time for another try, it missed as well.
Bryant took the floor wearing a black-rimmed mask to protect the nose he broke in the All-Star game. As missed shots piled up in the first half, he switched to a clear mask that looked more similar to what he wore in a win over the Miami Heat on Sunday.
While Bryant struggled to find any rhythm from outside, Bynum was too much for the Pistons to handle around the basket. His alley-oop dunk from Steve Blake gave the Lakers a 37-25 lead, and it looked like Los Angeles might overpower the Pistons. Stuckey helped Detroit rally, hurting the Lakers with his ability to drive to the basket.
Stuckey cut the lead to one with a three-point play, and Detroit eventually went ahead. The Pistons led 45-41 at halftime.
Bryant had nine points on 2-of-10 shooting in the first half.
The Lakers outscored Detroit 20-9 in the third quarter, and Bryant had success with more high-percentage shots. His alley-oop from Pau Gasol gave Los Angeles a 59-52 lead, and Bryant added a runner to make it 61-54.
NOTES: Lakers assistant coach John Kuester was the Pistons' head coach for the last two seasons before being fired. He shared a hug with Detroit assistant Brian Hill before the game. ... Bynum was 13 of 18 from the field.
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