LOS ANGELES -- Kobe Bryant's shooting touch was off, so he wanted to help out in other ways.
"When you're not shooting the ball well, you have to lead by example and make the rest of the guys understand that even though you don't shoot the ball well, it doesn't mean you relax on defense. If anything, you pick it up," Bryant said after the Lakers beat Detroit 103-91 Friday.
His shooting picked up in the fourth quarter after he had gone 2-for-14 in the first three periods. He made two 3-pointers, had a three-point play and scored 11 points in the final 5:38 to help Los Angeles pull away.
Bryant wound up with 19 points and seven assists. While Bryant was struggling from the floor, Lamar Odom took up the slack and finished with 25 points and 15 rebounds.
Backup guard Jordan Farmar also made some key plays as the Lakers rallied from a 74-72 deficit to take control in the final eight minutes. Farmar had two steals and scored six of his 10 points over the final 7:40.
"We just played hard, were scrappy and just tried to make things happen," Farmar said. "They were beating us in those categories throughout the whole game, but we really picked it up in the fourth quarter.
"We just looked at each other and said, 'OK, let's trap right now. They won't be expecting it.' It was just little things -- being aggressive, being scrappy, just trying to be annoying. And it worked."
"They were actually having problems against our defense, and they got some easy ones and got a little bit of their mojo going as far as the fourth," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said.
"We ran out of gas, ran out of bodies. Our guys tried hard, but you would like to get a better whistle at times, especially in the fourth, as hard as our guys played."
The Pistons shot seven free throws in the final quarter and made four. The Lakers were 9-of-12 from the line in the period. Los Angeles made 24 of 32 free throws for the game, and Detroit was 22-of-27.
The Pistons again were missing Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess, both of whom were hurt in a 102-94 loss at Portland on Tuesday night. Billups has a right hip pointer and sore left knee, and McDyess has a strained left shoulder. Both are listed as day-to-day.
Billups leads the Pistons in both scoring (17.7) and assists (7.0), and McDyess is averaging a team-high 7.4 rebounds to go along with his 9.1 scoring average.
Bryant said Billups poses problems when he's on the court.
"Billups is a big body and he's the floor general. He's really a coach on the floor, and he gives then a great post-up threat, particularly against the small lineup we have," Bryant said.
"So when we face them again and he's in there, it'll pose a different challenge."
The Pistons have held Bryant to less than 20 points in their last three games against the Lakers, winning the two previous meetings by double digits.
Bryant said he doesn't really care how many he scores.
"I can force the issue and go off for 40 or 50, but that's not beneficial to the team. You've just got to stick to the flow of the game," he said. "I had some easy shots, they just didn't fall for me."
Down by as many as 11 points in the second quarter, the Pistons took their first lead 3:16 into the third, and they were up 68-62 to begin the fourth.
- Lakers F Ronny Turiaf missed the game because of a sprained left ankle. Luke Walton started in his place.
- The Pistons held Bryant to an average of 18.5 points in the two meetings last season.