LOS ANGELES — Dwight Howard scored 28 points, Kobe Bryant had 15 points and eight assists, and the Los Angeles Lakers finally got their first victory of the season, 108-79 over the winless Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.
Metta World Peace scored 18 points, and Pau Gasol added 14 for the Lakers, who went 0-8 in the exhibition season and started the regular season 0-3 for just the fourth time in franchise history, despite adding Howard and Steve Nash over the summer.
The Lakers’ growing worries about their new offense and their roster’s durability vanished for a day against the struggling Pistons, who never led.
Jonas Jerebko scored 18 points for Detroit, which was on the second stop of a difficult six-game trip.
Los Angeles took a 28-point lead in the first half and stretched it to 36 points in the third quarter, with Howard dominating the paint and Bryant slipping easily into a play-making role in the injured Nash’s absence.
The Lakers earned their first victory in nearly five weeks together since the start of training camp, and they occasionally resembled the powerhouse most expected to see this season – even if it’s without Nash, who missed his second straight game with a small fracture in his left leg.
Howard excelled in the paint against Greg Monroe, hitting 12 of 14 shots – most of them right at the rim – and grabbing seven rebounds with just one foul.