Considering how critical this current Los Angeles Lakers road trip is—it's the annual "Grammy Trip," the one whose importance was laid out in detail by colleague Sean Deveney last week—they can't afford to be picky about their wins.
They won't put an asterisk next to Game No. 3, and Win No. 2. Nope, not throwing this one back. In a season in which everything imaginable and a few things unimaginable have gone wrong, Sunday's 98-97 victory over the Detroit Pistons in Auburn Hills, Mich., will be very welcome.
It ought to be, considering the consequences of losing it. All it would have done was deflate whatever semblance of momentum the Lakers had been building over the previous week. Remember, just seven days before this Super Sunday matinee against the feeble and short-handed Pistons, the Lakers had beaten the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kobe Bryant had re-invented himself as a playmaker and Dwight Howard had figured out a new way to shoehorn himself into the picture for the better.
Things were looking up. Enough that the Lakers could start using the "P" word again, even though they were still out of playoff position in the NBA's Western Conference. All they had to do was keep this up.
They have. Sort of.