Grizzlies Smother Bryant, Lakers
Memphis 85, L.A. Lakers 73
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Nov. 14 (Ticker) -- Pau Gasol led a defensive effort which kept Kobe Bryant in check and sent the Los Angeles Lakers home on a sour note.
Gasol collected 20 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots as the Memphis Grizzlies posted an 85-73 victory over the Lakers.
Memphis' defensive effort allowed it to beat Los Angeles for the fourth straight time.
"They played us tough," Bryant said. "They did this to us last year. They're a good team, and I knew it was going to be a roller-coaster night just like it was."
A 14-4 run helped the Grizzlies open a 38-29 lead with 3:39 left in the half. Eddie Jones, who finished with 16 points, had four points and a steal during the spurt.
"Coach (Mike Fratello) really had us ready for the triangle, for the 1-on-1s and the post-ups," Jones said. "He had us in position at all times. We just really have to take our hats off to the coach because he had us ready."
Despite shooting just 38 percent (31-of-82), Memphis outscored Los Angeles, 31-14, in the third quarter to take control of the game. The Grizzlies had a 17-5 advantage in rebounds, 11 on the offensive end, leading to 15 second-chance points.
"We came out and played an aggressive, spirit-filled third quarter and it enabled us to open up a lead," said Memphis forward Shane Battier, who pulled down seven of his 11 rebounds on the offense glass.
"It was a goal of ours tonight to really come out and rebound," said Grizzlies center Lorenzen Wright, who had 12 boards. "We knew they had a good offensive rebounding team, so we wanted to everybody to come to the boards."
The Grizzlies finished the third period with an 18-4 burst to take a 73-47 into the final quarter.
After being limited to a season-low 17 points Friday in Philadelphia, Bryant scored just 18 on 7-of-18 shooting. He sat on the bench for the entire fourth quarter.
The Lakers never held a lead after the first three minutes of the second period, and the 73 points was their second-lowest total since the 1960-61 season.
"These guys are not functioning at a high level right now," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "That's something we have to get right."
Not all the news was good for the Grizzlies as key reserve Mike Miller had to be carried off the court after suffering a bruised right knee with 1:09 left in the fourth quarter. Miller's X-rays were negative and he will be re-evaluated Tuesday.