Dwight Howard dropped in 28 points and ripped down seven rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers took out some major frustrations with a 108-79 thrashing of the Detroit Pistons on Sunday at Staples Center.
After losing their first three regular season games plus all eight preseason contests, the struggling Pistons proved to be the perfect fodder for a Lakers team with championship aspirations.
Metta World Peace finished with 18 points and five rebounds, Pau Gasol added 14 points and five boards and Kobe Bryant netted 15 and handed out eight assists for Los Angeles, which avoided its first 0-4 start since 1957, when the team was still located in Minneapolis.
"We needed to win in a convincing way," Gasol said. "We did a lot of positive things that we can build on. We set the tone early, that helped a lot."
Jonas Jerebko led Detroit with 18 points, while Will Bynum and Kyle Singler added 10 and 11 points, respectively, for the Pistons, who fell to 0-3 on the season.
"It's unacceptable to get your doors blown off like we did," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "But we're a young, building team and we'll definitely grow from this. Once they kicked us, we didn't do what needed to do to respond."
Detroit kept it close early, trailing 13-8 with a little over six minutes to play, but the Lakes took off from there as a pair of free throws by Howard ignited a 21-5 burst to give the home side a comfortable 34-13 advantage.
Howard and Gasol led the Lakers with 11 and 10 points, respectively, while Bryant knocked down two 3-pointers in the frame for eight points.
The domination by the Lakers continued in the second quarter as a layup by Darius Morris with 6:55 left in the frame gave Los Angeles a 44-21 advantage.
Following the bucket, the Pistons mounted a charge when Singler scored seven straight points during a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to 44-30, but the Lakers cruised through the rest of the first half and led 62-34.
The Lakers' advantage reached 36 in the third quarter, and they led by at least 20 through the remainder of the game, coasting to a much-needed first win of the season.
Los Angeles shot 51.9 percent from the floor and 10-of-22 from three-point range, while the Pistons shot 35.4 percent from the field ... Detroit has dropped 11 of its last 14 matchups with the Lakers ... The Pistons turned the ball over 17 times, leading to 22 Los Angeles points.