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LeBron James watches from the sidelines as the Los Angeles Lakers are defeated by Detroit Pistons

After defeating the Lakers while LeBron James was seated, Detroit coach Dwane Casey was asked if he wished his Pistons could have faced a Los Angeles team closer to full power.

Please.

“I wish we could play against G League or high school teams,” said Casey. “We have to play who is there.

LeBron James (right) watches from the sidelines along with teammates Lance Stephenson (left) and Lonzo Ball as the LA Lakers 111-97 were defeated by the Detroit Pistons

LeBron James (right) watches from the sidelines along with teammates Lance Stephenson (left) and Lonzo Ball as the LA Lakers 111-97 were defeated by the Detroit Pistons

A sharply dressed James smiles on the sidelines, but his Lakers team slipped into defeat

A sharply dressed James smiles on the sidelines, but his Lakers team slipped into defeat

A sharply dressed James smiles on the sidelines, but his Lakers team slipped into defeat

“I’ve been through that over the years, and teams have different visions and focuses, and yet, how you look at tonight’s schedule, I guarantee someone will have a hard time against one of those teams. Those guests are paid twice a month. ‘

Andre Drummond had 19 points and 23 rebounds, and the Pistons took advantage of James’ absence and defeated Los Angeles 111-97 on Friday night.

The Lakers, who have fallen off the pace in the Western Conference playoff race, have managed James’ minutes and have completed this match in full. Los Angeles played in Toronto the previous evening.

Andre Drummond, with 19 points and 23 rebounds, inspired Detroit to win on Friday night

Andre Drummond, with 19 points and 23 rebounds, inspired Detroit to win on Friday night

Andre Drummond, with 19 points and 23 rebounds, inspired Detroit to win on Friday night

Drummond jumps to score while the Lakers team watches on the Pistons' 111-97 win

Drummond jumps to score while the Lakers team watches on the Pistons' 111-97 win

Drummond jumps to score while the Lakers team watches on the Pistons’ 111-97 win

The Lakers also were without Lonzo Ball (left ankle), Tyson Chandler (neck), Brandon Ingram (right arm) and Lance Stephenson (toe), but were only four behind in the third quarter before Detroit made a 13-0 run to make it 73-56. Reggie Jackson started that piece with two 3-pointers and a jumper.

“We had to play with pretty much everyone we had, we were in bodies,” said Lakers coach Luke Walton. “We played hard enough to win, but we didn’t shoot enough to win.”

The Pistons suffered losses of 28 and 34 points against the Nets and Heat, but Friday’s win put Detroit ahead of Brooklyn for the number 6 spot in the East. Langston Galloway scored 23 points and Jackson had 20 for the Pistons.

“I know everyone was excited to see LeBron, but we’re here for a different reason,” said Casey.

‘Whoever goes, whoever in the field of load management, we have no control over that. I’m still saying that those teams come out to compete, and that doesn’t mean automatic winning at all. ‘

Wayne Ellington of the Pistons will face Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in Friday night's game

Wayne Ellington of the Pistons will face Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in Friday night's game

Wayne Ellington of the Pistons will face Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in Friday night’s game

STILL THE STAR

James had not missed a whole game since February 2. He wasn’t suitable for this one, but there was certainly a buzz among fans behind one of the baskets as he emerged in the middle of the first quarter and walked over to the couch to join his team. At the beginning of the fourth, he went back to the dressing room.

NOT VIOLENCE

Blake Griffin was quite restrained after his team’s win over the understaffed Lakers.

“I don’t know if we have the right mind for this game,” Griffin said. “We won even tonight, but I don’t think we were great.”

Pistons 'Blake Griffin takes on Lakers' JaVale McGee as he tries to jump to the hoop

Pistons 'Blake Griffin takes on Lakers' JaVale McGee as he tries to jump to the hoop

Pistons ‘Blake Griffin takes on Lakers’ JaVale McGee as he tries to jump to the hoop

Griffin didn’t have a great game himself, scoring 15 points on 3-of-12 shots.

“I’m not saying I’m not part of the problem,” he said. ‘I’m. My energy wasn’t great, I haven’t made the plays I should be doing and have taken an extra step. If anyone notices that, we should speak up. ‘

TIP-INS

Lakers: Rajon Rondo had 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and Kyle Kuzma had 12 points and 10 assists.

Pistons: Drummond is four rebounds away from placing a sixth consecutive season with at least 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

Only seven players have achieved that: Wilt Chamberlain (10), Bill Russell (10), Bob Pettit (nine), Elvin Hayes (seven), Walt Bellamy (six), Dwight Howard (six) and Jerry Lucas (six).

Langston Galloway of the Pistons and Alex Caruso fall during the match

Langston Galloway of the Pistons and Alex Caruso fall during the match

Langston Galloway of the Pistons and Alex Caruso fall during the match

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