Memphis 128, L.A. Lakers 118

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Jan. 9 (AP) -- The Los Angeles Lakers followed up a victory over the NBA's best team by getting blown out by the one with the worst record.

Pau Gasol had 25 points and 13 rebounds, Mike Miller scored 14 of his 25 points in a record-setting third quarter, and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Lakers 128-118 on Tuesday night.

The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for Los Angeles, which was coming off a 101-98 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, who have the league's best record. The Grizzlies came into Tuesday's game with the NBA's worst winning percentage.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson had warned his team not to let down against the Grizzlies, who have a rejuvenated offense and are 3-3 under interim coach Tony Barone.

"We outplay the better teams right now, but we're getting outplayed by the teams that aren't as good,'' Lakers forward Luke Walton said. "Sometimes, we just end up winning at the end, but this is too good of a league and too long of a season to get a high playoff seed if we keep playing like that.''

Memphis, which had seven players in double figures, built the lead in the third period, outscoring the Lakers 46-22, including 13 unanswered points over a three-minute span. The 46 points were a Grizzlies franchise record for points in a quarter.

"Well, sometimes when things go wrong, it's infectious,'' Jackson said. "It's tough when you win three of four quarters, and you still lose the game.''

Memphis led by as many as 24 in the fourth as starters Kobe Bryant, who led the Lakers with 25 points, Brian Cook and Smush Parker sat on the Los Angeles bench for the final period.

"We didn't execute offensively, which created a bad defensive balance for us,'' Bryant said of the third period. "They were able to get out on the break and get easy opportunities and blow the game open.

"When we did execute, we got easy opportunities that we just didn't make. You add that to the fact that they had so many points in the paint (54), and so many fast-break points (39), and that's tough.''

Maurice Evans scored 13 of his 21 points in the fourth as the reserves made a dent in the lead, but they never could get it under double digits.

Damon Stoudamire had 16 points and six assists for Memphis, while Chucky Atkins finished with 12. Rudy Gay had 11 points, while Hakim Warrick and Alexander Johnson scored 10 apiece, Johnson grabbing 10 rebounds.

Sasha Vujacic scored 18 for Los Angeles, while Jordan Farmar had 12. Andrew Bynum added 11 points.

Despite a slow start, the Grizzlies eventually got their running style in gear, matching a franchise record with 39 fast-break points, while the Lakers managed only 10 points off the break. Memphis switched to a zone at times, and that helped get the running game going.

"I don't know that we played a great zone, but what it allowed us to do was get the ball out and run. I was absolutely thrilled with the tempo,'' Barone said.

The Lakers led 57-52 at halftime as Bryant had 16 points. Gasol scored 13 for the Grizzlies.

Memphis was rotating defenders on Bryant, even giving rookie Tarence Kinsey a shot. Kinsey was beaten badly by the league's fourth-leading scorer late in the first half on a spin move down the lane that resulted in a dunk.

The half was sloppy, with both teams shooting poorly and committing double-digit turnovers, 10 for the Lakers and a dozen for Memphis.

Memphis opened the second half with a 17-7 run, capped by back-to-back 3-pointers by Miller with about seven minutes left in the period. The Grizzlies extended the lead to 85-68 after 13 unanswered points.

"We got out there and we ran and executed and ran the offense,'' Miller said. "That's the whole key. We weren't just doing our freelance, we were actually executing an offense even though it didn't look like it.''

Miller's scoring and the Lakers' drought helped Memphis open a 98-79 at the end of the third.

While Bryant talked about execution problems, Walton pointed to mental mistakes and trying to maintain the same intensity no matter who Los Angeles is playing.

"We've shown we have the talent and the ability to play as an elite team,'' Walton said. "If you have that capability and you have that talent, it's got to be something else.

"We've got to be a mentally strong team and come in, be more focused and take care of business, and not think we're going to get wins when we play against teams with losing records.''

Notes: The Lakers have had 18 games where at least five players have finished in double figures. ... Walton, who is shooting 49 percent from 3-point range, third best in the league, missed all three of his shots outside the arc, and missed seven of eight shots from the field ... Memphis has won seven of the last nine against the Lakers. ... Memphis shot 49 free throws, tying the second-highest free throw attempts in franchise history. ...Meanwhile, Los Angeles shot a season-high 91.2 percent (31-of-34) from the line. ...Vujacic's 18 points were a career high and came one game after posting his previous career high of 16.


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