They both had missed the Lakers’ first 13 regular-season games, Dennis Schroder with a right thumb injury and Thomas Bryant with a left thumb injury, but both were back in action for the first time this season and made their mark.
Schroder, a point guard, gave the Lakers another playmaker and perimeter defender.
Bryant, a center, gave the Lakers some scoring and rebounding inside.
With LeBron James (left adductor strain) not playing, the Lakers needed the “extra bodies” of Schroder and Bryant.
“It was great to see them both out there,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “Just to throw them out there and get them some game action. Their timing is gonna come.
“Thomas was huge in some segments. Even Dennis — having an additional playmaker out there, a ballhandler and a guy that could take [Bojan] Bogdanovic for a few possessions. A guy that’s wanting to do it on both sides of the ball.”
Here are three takeaways from the Lakers’ 128-121 win over the Pistons on Friday night at Crypto.com arena:
1. Schroder missed four of his five shots and scored only two points but he had two assists and was able to organize the offense when needed.
Bryant had eight points on four-for-six shooting and five rebounds.
“I think the biggest thing for both of them [is] just getting their wind,” Lakers forward Anthony Davis said. “But both of these guys played huge for us, got us big buckets and got us back in the game.”
This is Schroder’s second go-around with the Lakers. He spent the 2020-21 season with the Lakers. He spent last season with the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets.
Schroder played 16 minutes 17 seconds against the Pistons.
“It was great,” he said. “We got the ‘W’ and that’s all that matters. I’m looking forward to Sunday.”
2. It has been a tough season for Kendrick Nunn.
His shot has betrayed him all season, but he got back on track against the Pistons, making all four of his shots, including both of his three-pointers, in scoring 10 points off the bench.
During the four days the Lakers had off this week, Nunn said he spent each day at the team’s practice facility working on just his jumper.
“I really just got my rhythm in those four days,” he said. “I was glad we got that little time off to get in a groove and I took each day, all four days I was locked in.”
3. The Lakers went to work at the free-throw line, knocking them down.
They shot 87.5% from the line (35 of 40).
Davis was particularly good at the free-throw line, making 18 of 21.
Wenyen Gabriel was five for five from the free-throw line.
“And we were complaining. Go figure,” Ham said. “We were complaining. I know, man. … You’re in the heat of the moment. But we were fouling shooters. But thank God we stayed aggressive, which allowed us to get that many attempts. But you look at that number after the game and you were like, ‘Man, what the hell were we complaining about?’ But so goes the NBA.”