Bryant, Lakers top Grizzlies
Posted Nov 13 2006 2:42AM
Los Angeles 91, Memphis 81
Bryant scored 21 points and Odom had 20 points and 16 rebounds in a 91-81 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night in Phil Jackson's 500th game as Lakers' coach.
``That's what we need, that 1-2 punch,'' Bryant said. ``We'll continue to provide that.''
Asked if it was his best game so far, Odom replied: ``If you're stat watching, maybe, but it's the team effort that counts. We could've played better in the second half, but we gave ourselves enough of a cushion to sustain a victory.''
Mike Miller scored 21 points - tying his career high with six 3-pointers - and had 13 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who lost their fourth in a row overall and third straight on the road. They have yet to beat a Western Conference opponent.
``We played a good third quarter and put 32 points on the board, but when you go down 19 to a quality team on the road, it's tough to come back,'' Miller said. ``That's been the story of our season so far.''
Even Miller's long-range success couldn't overcome Memphis' 38.4 field-goal percentage, which ranks last in the NBA.
``We have stretches in every game where we just don't score the ball and you have to overcome those,'' Memphis coach Mike Fratello said. ``It makes it a little easier if you can single a guy out and say, `Here's the ball, go get us a shot.' That doesn't happen all the time right now, so we have a lot to work on.''
The Lakers frittered away most of a 19-point halftime lead in the fourth quarter, when the Grizzlies got within seven.
``It just seems like we can never get over the hump,'' Chucky Atkins said. ``We can never make that shot or play or get that rebound that will put us over the top.''
Reserve Damon Stoudamire, who scored 16 points, hit a 3-pointer to pull Memphis within six. But Bryant scored the Lakers' final seven points - on a 3-pointer, a jumper in the lane and two free throws - to close out the sloppy win.
``We had a good first half,'' Jackson said. ``I'm not so pleased with the second half. It looked like it was hard for us to sustain the effort.''
The Grizzlies trailed 72-62 to start the fourth quarter. They ran off 10 in a row - four each by Hakim Warrick and Stoudamire - to get to 79-72.
Parker made one of two free throws and then missed a jumper before Maurice Evans' fast-break reverse dunk pushed the Lakers' lead to 82-72 with 5:38 remaining.
Bryant started the final 12 minutes on the bench with the usual wrap around his surgically repaired right knee. He returned four minutes in and made a nifty bounce pass in the lane to a driving Parker, whose layup again kept the Lakers ahead by 10.
Memphis outscored Los Angeles 32-23 in the third, when Miller hit three 3-pointers and Bryant was limited to four points.
Notes: The Lakers are off until Friday when they host Toronto. ... Lakers C Kwame Brown scored six points in his first game this season after being out with a sprained right shoulder. But the 19-year-old Bynum retained his starting spot. ... Jackson's 337 victories are third-most in team history behind Pat Riley (533) and John Kundla (423). ... Grizzlies C Jake Tsakalidis missed his second straight game because of a sore right knee.
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