The Lakers responded to a three-game losing streak – their worst run since the season’s start – by beating the Dallas Mavericks last time out.
Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball improved after being called out by head coach Luke Walton after a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, when Walton demanded “more passion” and “more fight”.
The pair contributed a combined 50 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists with the Lakers improving despite LeBron’s continued absence.
The four-time MVP – the team’s centrepiece – has been out injured with a groin strain since Christmas Day with LA going just 2-5 since then despite beating the Golden State Warriors on December 25 while Rajon Rondo is also sidelined.
And they face the Detroit Pistons tonight (7.30pm PST/3.30am UK time) at Staples Center looking to win back-to-back games for the first time since LeBron got hurt.
This is the Lakers’ 42nd game of the 2018-19 NBA season having gone 22-19 in the first half of the year and while recent form has seen them slip down the rankings in the West, Walton thinks his team is about where he expected it to be by this point.
He explained: “We know that when we’re at our best, we’re a really good team. We’re a team that can hang our hat on playing defense and getting stops.
“We’re good when we get out and run. LeBron James is really good. And there’s still a ton of unknown. Really, there’s probably more unknown than there is known, just because of the amount of injuries we’ve gone through and the different lineups.
“Even with the suspensions of trying to get the continuity of who plays, what match-ups are playing well together. I think it’s exciting that we’re where we’re at and we still have so much room to grow.
“I would have said we are what we’re supposed to be and I’m very pleased with where we’re at right now. I think our record is probably a little better than I thought it would have been earlier, pre-LeBron getting hurt. And now, where it’s at, we’ve got some work to do and we know that.
“I think our team will accept that challenge and opportunity and we’ll have a good end of the season.”
Los Angeles Lakers vs Detroit Pistons LIVE STREAM information
Sky Sports are the exclusive rights holders for NBA in the UK.
Tonight’s game will not be shown on Sky Sports though.
If you have a Sky Sports subscription you can watch the NBA action that is shown on TV or using the Sky Go app online or on your mobile device.
To stream the Lakers vs the Pistons for free, fans can watch through Bet365’s website and apps, so long as they have funds in their account.
Alternatively fans can purchase the NBA League Pass.
There are numerous packages the NBA League Pass offers with the premium account offering coverage from every team, every game and exclusive features for an annual fee of £214.99.
The next one down covers every team and every game for an annual fee of £184.99.
While if you wanted to stick to just one team then it will cost £99.99 for the season or a day pass will cost £4.99.