Notebook: Grizzlies 106, Lakers 98



Posted Nov 24, 2012 12:07 AM

Phil Stukenborg, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Rudy Gay led a balanced Memphis Grizzlies scoring attack with 21 points, Zach Randolph added his 11th double-double in as many games to start the season, and Mike Conley finished with 19, including two clutch baskets in the closing minutes, to lift the Grizzlies past the Los Angeles Lakers, 106-98, Friday night.

Before a sellout crowd of 18,119 at FedExForum, the Grizzlies (9-2) survived a fourth-quarter comeback try by the Lakers fueled by Kobe Bryant, who finished with 30 points, 14 in the final period. The Grizzlies led by 14 (82-68) late in the third quarter, but the Lakers trimmed the advantage to five points (95-90) midway through the fourth after consecutive 3-pointers from Bryant.

It would be as close as the Lakers would get. The Grizzlies kept Los Angeles (6-7) at bay as each of their starters -- Gay, Randolph, Conley, Tony Allen and Marc Gasol -- contributed in the final five minutes. The second of Conley's two straightaway jumpers in the last 1:43 put the Grizzlies up, 104-96, with 39 seconds left.

"He's had confidence, he's just more aggressive now," said Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins of Conley. "And he's a better leader than he's been in the past."

Gasol, who finished with 14 points, said he and Conley were talking at halftime about how Conley "was going to be open" in the second half.

"He was confident shooting them," Gasol said of Conley's key jumpers. "He was open. It was like free throws for him."

Randolph's double-double consistent of 17 points and 12 rebounds. Allen, assigned to shadow Bryant, had 12 points. Metta World Peace and Antawn Jamison added 16 each for the Lakers.

The Grizzlies built a 34-18 lead after one quarter and never trailed the remainder of the game.

"(The Grizzlies) are a good team," said Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni. "They are going to make shots. There are just little things that we didn't do. We didn't trap the pick and roll. We have just got to be pro-active."

QUOTABLE: "I have said from the beginning that that's been the thing that I have been most impressed (with) even in training camp. They have been committed to each other. They are playing together. They talk a lot to each other. The spirit and camaraderie is so much better than it has been since I have been here."
-- Hollins on the Grizzlies' unselfish play (23 assists on 38 made shots).

THE STAT: The Grizzlies outscored the Lakers, 40-24, in the paint. Memphis made 20-of-42 in the paint.

TURNING POINT: After the Lakers opened the fourth quarter by making six 3-pointers in six-and-a-half minutes to cut the Grizzlies lead to 95-90, the Grizzlies didn't flinch. Randolph made a free throw and Allen drove in for a left-handed layup to push the lead back to eight. The Lakers never got closer than six points in the final three minutes.

QUOTABLE II: "They are in the phase of trying to figure things out. We don't have a nice rhythm. To beat a team on the road like this, you have to play every possession hard and I don't think we are there yet."
-- Lakers coach D'Antoni on his team adjusting to him.

HOT: The Grizzlies forced 18 turnovers and have forced at least 10 in 115 straight games. It's the longest active streak in the NBA.

NOT: Lakers' big men Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard. The two combined for 15 points on 5-of-14 shooting Wednesday against Sacramento and went 5-of-15 for 13 points against the Grizzlies. "We need to figure that one out," D'Antoni said.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Justin Timberlake, a Memphis-area native and a limited partner in the Grizzlies' ownership group, sat courtside with his wife, Jessica Biel. Timberlake attended a team shootaround earlier in the day.

GOOD MOVE: Marc Gasol's ability to find the open teammate. Gasol finished with a game-high eight assists

BAD MOVE: The Lakers away from the Staples Center. With the loss to the Grizzlies, the Lakers are 0-4 on the road and their 6-7 start is the franchise's worst since opening 5-8 in 2005.

NOTABLE: Grizzlies reserve forward Darrell Arthur made his season debut late in the first half. Arthur was returning from a fractured leg he suffered in a September pickup game. He missed last season with an Achilles injury.

UP NEXT: For the Grizzlies, Monday vs. Cavaliers, Wednesday vs. Raptors, Friday vs. Pistons. For the Lakers, Saturday at Mavericks, Tuesday vs. Pacers, Friday vs. Nuggets.