There's something about the Forum purple and gold mixed with the Pistons' red, white and blue that always makes for a good visual at The Palace, with the confluence of Lakers and Pistons fans mixing in the building.
Good basketball has accompanied that in recent years, with Sunday producing another down-to-the-wire finish, and just like in the old days, this one will be mixed with a little controversy.
Andre Drummond's alley-oop catch was met with a lot of contact by the Lakers' Pau Gasol with 1.2 seconds left, but the whistle didn't blow and the Lakers (22-26) escaped from The Palace with a 98-97 win.
Greg Monroe led the Pistons (18-30) with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Gasol — who moved to center because Dwight Howard was out after a shoulder procedure — led the Lakers with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
The Pistons again were without newly acquired Jose Calderon, who's still dealing with visa issues and can't so much as practice with the Pistons just yet. He could be available for tonight's game against the Knicks — or not.
It's funny, but in a game where the Pistons came back from an 18-point deficit, the collective feeling is that they allowed another one to get away because they had chance after chance in the final minute, before the final play.
Will Bynum had been dreaming about moments like this, with the ball in his hands, a superstar in front of him and the game hanging in the balance as the Pistons trailed by one.
After getting Kobe Bryant on his left hip — right where Bynum wanted him, he exploded to the basket with a few seconds left as The Palace gasped in anticipation. His trusty floater, one that was over Gasol's stretched arms, rolled in — and mercilessly popped out.
Steve Nash came up with the rebound but missed both free throws with 2.7 seconds left, his third and fourth misses of the year (95 percent shooter), giving the Pistons yet another shot to seize an improbable win.
"I guess the basketball gods didn't want it to go in. I had a floater layup at the end, and I missed it," Bynum said. "It's tough, it's the second time this season they trusted me and I didn't deliver. It's tough because I thrive in those moments."
The first time was in Atlanta, when the Pistons came back from a similar deficit and Bynum's layup rolled off the rim in the first overtime. With Drummond as a threat at the rim, Gasol was at Bynum's will.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130203/SPORTS0102/302030348#ixzz2JwD3iBgV
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