Stoudamire, Grizzlies Outlast Lakers
Memphis 100, L.A. Lakers 99 (OT)
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 28 (Ticker) -- Damon Stoudamire and Pau Gasol were able to execute down the stretch in a war of attrition.
Stoudamire scored 25 points and Gasol added 24 with 13 rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies rallied for a 100-99 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
"We were really resilient," Stoudamire said. "We have a pretty good road record, but what we did tonight I thought was pretty incredible. Eddie got ejected, Shane Battier fouled out and we were still able to pull this game out."
Gasol gave Memphis its first lead of the game in overtime, snapping an 88-88 tie with a hook shot. Devean George followed with a jumper for the Lakers before Stoudamire made a free throw and Miller hit a 3-pointer for a 94-90 edge with 3:04 left.
Stoudamire widened the lead to 100-92 by making a layup with 1:34 remaining before Kobe Bryant hit a 3-pointer, a jumper and a layup to bring the Lakers within one with 24 seconds to go.
After Chris Mihm intercepted Gasol's pass with 14 seconds left, the Lakers got the ball to Bryant, who missed a reverse layup with three seconds remaining. Mihm grabbed the rebound and was off the rim with a hook shot as time ran out.
"It was just a mad scramble," Mihm said of the last shot. "I found a way to knock the ball loose and tear it out of there and had a good look at the shot. I thought it was good. I said 'game time' to myself and it felt good coming out of my hand. I just shorted it a little bit. It is frustrating."
Gasol came on strong in the second half and overtime after making 2-of-9 shots and scoring six points in the first two quarters.
"My legs weren't feeling great tonight," Gasol said of his slow start. "I couldn't get into a rhythm. I couldn't get into any flow. It was hard and I don't know why my legs didn't feel the way they have felt in the last few games. I had to fight mentally to get myself back into the game. My teammates count on me and I have to get the ball in my hands and make things happen."
Gasol scored six consecutive points and Stoudamire buried a 3-pointer from the left side to bring the Grizzlies within 87-85 with 1:01 to go in regulation. After Bryant made 1-of-2 from the foul line, Stoudamire drilled another shot from the arc, tying the game, 88-88, with 28 seconds left.
"I just let it go," Stoudamire said. "That was a situation that you dream about, and to be honest with you, I haven't been in this type of situation for a long time because the last couple of years in Portland, we haven't been too successful in a mix like this team. When it comes to me in this type of situation, I just want to take the shot. I was fortunate to hit them tonight."
Jones scored 17 points and Miller added 14 with 15 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who improved to 8-5 on the road.
"They hung in there and just gave us a chance to pull out a win," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said. "We had some guys step up and make big shots. Obviously, the biggest one, Damon made that huge three when we needed it. We have some real pros on this team, a great attitude and there is a togetherness and a bond and they pull for each other."
"I wish we could play like this all season," Jones said. "This team has no quit. This team is a tough ballclub once we get going. It shows that we have no quit."
Bryant was 13-of-37 from the floor and scored 45 points, his seventh 40-point performance of the season and fourth in December.
However, Bryant suffered a bloody gash above his left eye early in the third quarter and left the game to get it patched up. He returned moments later and hit three straight 3-pointers, giving the Lakers a 66-58 lead.
"We really focus on winning games on the defensive end," Bryant said. "When we won games is when we played extremely well on defense. We did a good job of that tonight, but we gave them too many open looks down the stretch and they knocked them down."
After Bryant scored the first seven points for the Lakers in the fourth quarter, he was called for a flagrant foul for elbowing Miller in the neck. Miller made two free throws to cut the deficit to 74-72 with 8:23 to play.
"They should come after me," Bryant said. "I'm going to come after them. That's how we have to play, we have to be aggressive. This is our home court, we can't allow people to just come down the middle of the lane and dunk the ball. It just can't happen. We've got to stop that."
George scored 18 points and Mihm added 15 with 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who have lost three straight games.
"That was a disappointing loss for us tonight," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "We couldn't carry the game to completion. Kobe had a really good look at the end of the game. In the overtime, they rode that momentum. We had to stumble back and try to win back the opportunity we had."