Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 11/5/12
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Dwight Howard scored 28 points, Kobe Bryant had 15 points and eight assists, and the Los Angeles Lakers finally got their first victory of the season, 108-79 over the winless Detroit Pistons on Sunday night. Metta World Peace scored 18 points and Pau Gasol added 14 for the Lakers, who went 0-8 in the preseason and started the regular season 0-3 for just the fourth time in franchise history despite adding Howard and Steve Nash over the summer. The Lakers' growing worries about their new offense and their roster's durability vanished for a day against the struggling Pistons, who never led. Jonas Jerebko scored 18 points for Detroit in the second stop on a difficult six-game road trip. Los Angeles took a 28-point lead in the first half and stretched it to 36 points in the third quarter, with Howard dominating the paint and Bryant slipping easily into a playmaking role in the injured Nash's absence. The Lakers earned their first victory in nearly five weeks together since the start of training camp, and they occasionally resembled the powerhouse most expected to see this season -- even if it's without Nash, who missed his second straight game with a small fracture in his left leg. Howard excelled in the paint against Greg Monroe, hitting 12 of 14 shots -- most of them right at the rim -- and grabbing seven rebounds with just one foul. Bryant appeared to play easily on his sore foot, taking just 10 shots and grabbing seven rebounds. The Lakers' starters played only token minutes in the fourth quarter, giving them valuable rest before Wednesday's trip to Utah. The Lakers began the regular season by dropping games to Dallas, Portland and the Clippers, but they've only started a season 0-4 once in franchise history -- and that was in 1957, back in Minneapolis. Los Angeles hadn't even started a season 0-3 since 1978 -- but that team won 15 of its next 16 games. While the Lakers wait a week to learn the severity of Nash's injury, Steve Blake had six assists and a career high-tying five steals in his starting spot. Backup Darius Morris also played well with six points, but Gasol and Bryant are likely to be the Lakers' most important playmakers until Nash returns. Detroit's five starters all struggled mightily, going a combined 11 for 39 -- including Brandon Knight's 1-for-8 performance. Rodney Stuckey's shooting slump reached three games, with the starting guard going 0 for 6 to drop to 1 for 23 this season. The Pistons also might wonder if the NBA's schedule-makers used Apple Maps to plot the schedule: Detroit must travel to Denver for a game Tuesday, only to return to California to face the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday before heading back out to Oklahoma City. The Lakers looked energized from the opening tip against Detroit, with Howard and Gasol repeatedly demanding the ball down low against Jason Maxiell and Monroe. Los Angeles closed the first quarter on a 23-5 run, with Gasol and Howard combining for 21 points. Bryant embraced a role as the facilitator of Los Angeles' offense, racking up eight assists in the first half while his teammates thrived. Howard might be feeling more confident with his surgically repaired back, getting 20 points and six rebounds in the first half while giving Lakers fans their first look at the aggression and ball sense that made him a superstar in Orlando. NOTES: The Lakers hadn't started 0-3 at home since 1959. ... Lakers assistant coach Darvin Ham played on the Pistons' 2004 championship team, which upset the Lakers in the NBA finals. ... Flea, will.i.am, Andy Garcia and Jeremy Sisto attended the game.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bill Belichick dubs Rob Gronkowski 'Twinkle toes' after last week's TD

Tom Brady went in for a close hug, and Bill Belichick was not having it

Julian Edelman sends support to Gordon Hayward with encouraging tweet

Chris Thompson: Philly fans ‘some of the meanest I’ve ever experienced’

Seahawks to place DE Cliff Avril on injured reserve

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Video of Tom Brady firing up Patriots teammates while trailing Jets surfaces

Predicting studs and duds for college football Week 8

Andrew Luck has setback with shoulder, won’t practice this week

Steve Kerr has amusing quote about fake Klay Thompson

Report: Some Cavs players were upset at plans for Irving tribute video

Goodell says players are being encouraged to stand, not forced

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with newbies Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

Nikola Jokic: A throwback superstar for the modern era

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

The 'A butcher, a Baker, a touchdown maker' quiz

Tale of the tape: American League Championship Series

What's trending up, down so far in the NFL

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

The 'A butcher, a Baker, a touchdown maker' quiz

Tale of the tape: American League Championship Series

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker