DETROIT: Blake Griffin scored 23 points and the Detroit Pistons took advantage of Anthony Davis’ absence on Thursday night (Friday in Manila) in a 107-92 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
LeBron James had 22 points and 10 assists, but only two of those points came after halftime. The defending champions have lost back-to-back games, the first losing streak of any kind for the Lakers since before last year’s playoffs.
Davis was out with a right quad contusion, and Los Angeles — which lost by a point at Philadelphia on Wednesday night — faded in the fourth quarter against the Pistons.
Detroit led by one before Griffin’s 3-pointer with 6:54 remaining started a 16-0 run. The Lakers went nearly seven minutes without scoring.
Wayne Ellington added 20 points for the Pistons.
James was questionable because of a left ankle sprain, but he looked fine at the outset, making his first seven shots from the field and scoring 20 points in the first half.
James made four 3-pointers in the half, but so did Ellington, and the Pistons only trailed 58-56 at the break.
Ellington finished 6 of 9 from 3-point range and is 40 of 67 from long distance in his last eight games. Ellington became the eighth player in NBA history to have at least seven straight games with four or more 3s.
Lakers: Kyle Kuzma scored 22 points and Talen Horton-Tucker contributed 13. … James went 1 of 12 from the field after making his first seven shots.
Pistons: Detroit made all 13 of its free throws. … Mason Plumlee had 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Lakers: Visit the Boston Celtics on Saturday night. The teams split two games last season, with Boston winning its home game 139-107.
Pistons: Visit the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night. The Warriors beat Detroit 116-106 on December 29.
Rockets beat Trail Blazers 104-101
HOUSTON: Victor Oladipo scored 25 points and the Houston Rockets shook off a terrible first quarter and held on late to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 104-101 on Thursday night.
The Rockets were down by 20 points in the first quarter before using a big second to take the lead and hold on down the stretch for their fourth straight victory.
A driving layup by Oladipo extended the lead to 101-98 with 26.2 seconds to go and Gary Trent Jr. missed a layup on the other end. Christian Wood made one of two free throws about 10 seconds later, before Anfernee Simons cut the lead to one with a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds remaining.
Eric Gordon made two free throws with 2.1 seconds to go and Simons missed a shot at the buzzer to give Houston the win.
Wood finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds in his return after missing three games with a sprained right ankle. John Wall had 20.
Damian Lillard had 30 points and nine assists for Portland, and Trent added 23 points and tied a career high by making seven 3-pointers.
Portland stayed in it late thanks to Trent making four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
The Trail Blazers scored the first 11 points of the fourth quarter, capped by three straight 3-pointers by Trent, to go on top 88-86 with 10 minutes remaining.
The Rockets got going after that, scoring the next six points, with a 3 from Oladipo, to make it 92-88.
A 3-pointer by Wall pushed Houston’s lead to four with about five minutes left. Trent made a 3-pointer to start a 5-0 run that gave Portland a 96-95 lead a minute later.
The Trail Blazers had a one-point lead before a 4-0 spurt by the Rockets gave Houston a 99-96 lead with less than two minutes to go. Lillard added a basket for Portland before missing a long 3-point attempt a few seconds later.