Detriot bounced back from that disappointing lost by smacking L.A. with a 88-68 ass kicking. Detriot’s amazing defense held the Lakers to their smallest point output since the inception of the shotclock. Now thats what I call a beat down!

After taking an untimely brief break at the end of Game 2, the defense of the Detroit Pistons returned with a record-setting vengeance.

With a smothering effort that shut down both Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, the Pistons shook off a loss and shackled the Los Angeles Lakers, 88-68, moving closer to an improbable NBA championship.

After Detroit’s Game 1 win, coach Larry Brown said he didn’t think his team could defend better. Back on their home court in front of a manic crowd, the Pistons proved him wrong as they stymied O’Neal and Bryant, the superstars who had combined for better than 60 points per game.

“This is as good as we can play,” said Brown, correcting himself.

O’Neal, who never had been held below 25 points in 21 career Finals games, was limited to 14 on 7-of-14 shooting and missed his only two free throws as he was harassed by two-time Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace and hampered by foul trouble.