Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy fields questions from the media after the 113-93 loss to the Lakers on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in Los Angeles. Video by Vince Ellis/DFP
Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) drives against Pistons guard Avery Bradley (22) during the second half of the Pistons’ 113-93 loss on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in Los Angeles.(Photo: Kirby Lee USA TODAY Sports)
LOS ANGELES – Urkel dropped by the visitor’s locker room at Staples Center late Tuesday night.
Former Piston Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, dressed as the popular “Family Matters” character for Halloween, was greeted with playful derision from his former teammates after his Lakers’ 113-93 victory.
And after he left the locker room, Caldwell-Pope asked the whereabouts of Stan Van Gundy, his coach for three seasons.
It was quite apparent there were no hard feelings over his Pistons’ exit this past off-season.
“It was just like playing against brothers,” Caldwell-Pope said. “I knew it was going to be competitive.
“I wanted to prepare (the Lakers) to come out and fight. They are competitors and I knew they would come out and fight.”
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Caldwell-Pope scored 13 points on 4-for-10 shooting. He added six rebounds and two badists for the Lakers (3-4), who ended the Pistons’ three-game winning streak.
It wasn’t much of a game with the largest lead at 23 points.
“We threw the first punch,” Caldwell-Pope said. “We kept our feet on the gas. We pushed the ball and got easy lay-ups.
“We made them turn the ball over a lot and we kept Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond out of the paint.”
The Lakers have a nice collection of young talent, making Caldwell-Pope at the age of 24 somewhat of an elder statesman.
Lakers coach Luke Walton noted Caldwell-Pope was extra vocal at the morning walk-through, informing teammates of Pistons tendencies.
“I can’t be as quiet as I was,” Caldwell-Pope said. “Coming here, I have to be more vocal. I have the opportunity to be that leader.”
It appeared Caldwell-Pope was in the Pistons’ long-term plans going into last season, but when shooting guard Avery Bradley was acquired, the $5.5-million offer sheet was rescinded, signaling the Pistons were moving on from Caldwell-Pope, the restricted free agent.
He signed a one-year, $18-million contract with the Lakers.
As team president, Van Gundy made the personnel decision.
Bradley struggled against the Lakers, scoring eight points on 4-for-17 shooting.
But no hurt feelings on Caldwell-Pope’s part.
“Me and Stan, we got a great relationship, and I want to keep that. I don’t want to burn bridges,” Caldwell-Pope said.
No freebies: Tobias Harris had seen enough.
After hitting a short jumper late in the third quarter, Harris barked at the official because he felt he was fouled.
Official Leon Wood gave Harris a technical foul.
The Pistons finally got relief from the officials with 6:25 remaining in the game when Reggie Jackson went to the line to complete a three-point play.
The three attempted free throws is a Pistons franchise low.
After playing so poorly, no one was going to blame the officiating for the loss.
But they were still bothered.
“We ain’t gonna get no love anyway,” Jackson said. “Since I’ve been part of this team, we haven’t got no love so it doesn’t matter.”
When asked about the officiating, Harris said it was a matter of doing things to get to the line.
“We have to try to get to the free-throw line more,” Harris said. “I think if we keep on trying to be aggressive (and) keep on trying to get to the line, eventually we’ll be able to get something to go for and try to get to the line more. I thought tonight we had a lot of drives that were good moves to try to get to the free-throw line, but as a team, we know we have to get to the free-throw line more. Maybe that means we might have to attack more, create some more contact on the drives, things like that.”
Injury update: Pistons power forward Jon Leuer suffered a left sprained ankle late in the game. X rays were negative.
Follow Vince Ellis on Twitter @vincent_ellis56.