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Los Angeles at Memphis

Bryant, Gasol step up to lead Lakers after Bynum goes down with injury

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol rallied the Lakers to another victory. However, Los Angeles might have lost a key player again.

Bryant scored 25 points, Gasol had 24 points and eight rebounds and the Lakers beat Memphis 115-98 on Saturday night, extending the Grizzlies' losing streak to 12 games.

The win was tempered by the uncertain status of Lakers center Andrew Bynum, who left the game in the first quarter with a sprained right knee. X-rays were negative and further tests will be done Sunday in New York where the Lakers face the Knicks the following day.

"Great disappointment. It took the wind out of the whole team in the first half, and that was a reason we played like we did," Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson said. "We have to stay optimistic about it. That's all we can do."

Derek Fisher scored 14 points for Los Angeles, and Lamar Odom added 13 as the Lakers won for the sixth time in the past seven games. Bryant also had seven assists.

Rudy Gay had 23 points, while O.J. Mayo scored 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field for the Grizzlies, losers of 20 of their past 22. Mike Conley finished with 13 points and seven assists, and Marc Gasol also scored 13 points.

Bynum was injured with about five minutes gone in the game. Bryant was driving to the basket, missed the shot, came down awkwardly and crashed into Bynum's right leg. Bynum was helped from the floor and did not return.

The Lakers center missed the final 46 games of last season with a left knee injury, also suffered against the Grizzlies.

"He was in considerable pain out there, and it looked very reminiscent of what happened last year," Jackson said.

The Lakers pulled away midway in the third period after the Grizzlies held a 13-point lead in the first half. Los Angeles outscored Memphis 60-37 after the break, including 24 points off 14 turnovers.

"They did a great job in the second half, no denying that," Mayo said. "I felt like my touches were limited in the second half, and give a lot of credit to the Laker defense."

Hollins noticed his team lose their edge in the second half, primarily as the veteran Lakers turned up the intensity.

"They got deflated," Hollins said of his team. "(The Lakers) made some tough shots. They started making threes, and their defensive pressure is something that could have affected them emotionally. As the game went on, our energy level went down. We weren't able to be consistent as the game wore on."

The Grizzlies' offense was more free-flowing in the first half, a different style under Hollins, in his third game since replacing the fired Marc Iavaroni. Instead of set plays, the Grizzlies were pushing the ball to the basket, and Mayo was connecting from outside.

Memphis was still shooting about 60 percent in the latter stages of the first half and built the lead to 13 before it was cut to 61-55 at halftime.

It didn't take the Lakers long to overtake Memphis as they opened the second half with 10-2 run, capped by Bryant's 3-point play. From there, the two teams stayed close as they continued to shoot above 50 percent.

But the Lakers closed the third with a 14-4 run, including 10 consecutive points, to take a 91-82 lead into the fourth. Bryant had 10 in the quarter, and Odom added nine to help Los Angeles build its lead.

"We came out much better mentally in the second half," Gasol said. "Defensively, we did a much better job than we did in the first half."

And, perhaps the Lakers' second-half dominance was an indication of how the Grizzlies haven't quite adapted to the faster pace under Hollins.

"Obviously, they picked it up," Marc Gasol, Pau's younger brother, said of the second half. "They got us off rhythm. ... We've got to be consistent. We've got to be able to play full speed for 48 minutes. We've got to be in really good shape."

Notes

  • The Grizzlies' 12-game losing streak is the longest for Memphis since opening the 2002-03 season 0-13. Darko Milicic participated in pregame warmups was a brace on his right hand. The Grizzlies' 7-foot C, who fractured his right (non-shooting) hand Dec. 26, was cleared for non-contact practice Friday and a determination will be made early next week on when he can start full practices. Hollins said Milicic, who has missed 17 games, possibly could return next weekend.
  • It was the second time Pau Gasol returned to Memphis after his trade to the Lakers a year ago. As part of that deal, the Grizzlies acquired the rights to Marc Gasol, who was playing in Europe.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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The Lakers look on cautiously as their starting center Andrew Bynum is in obvious pain.  (Getty Images)
The Lakers look on cautiously as their starting center Andrew Bynum is in obvious pain. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
L.A. Lakers (37-9) «26293624115
Memphis (11-35) 2932211698
LAL:K. Bryant 25 Pts
LAL:P. Gasol 8 Reb
LAL:K. Bryant 7 Ast
MEM:R. Gay 23 Pts
MEM:H. Warrick 7 Reb
MEM:M. Conley 7 Ast
Players of the Game
MemphisLos Angeles

R. Gay

P. Gasol
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
23622484

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Los Angeles
P. Gasol, C389-146-684124
K. Bryant, SG3510-205-717125
D. Fisher, PG326-70-020114
L. Walton, SF232-52-44226
A. Bynum, C52-33-30007
L. Odom, PF305-63-463413
T. Ariza, SF255-101-152311
J. Farmar, PG161-41-11013
V. Radmanovic, SF131-30-04023
S. Vujacic, SG132-52-21007
C. Mihm, C101-50-06042
D. Mbenga, CDid Not Play
J. Powell, SFDid Not Play
Y. Sun, SGDid Not Play
Totals 44-8223-28381819115
 53.7%82.1% 
Memphis
R. Gay, SG399-184-562423
O. Mayo, SG378-123-353421
M. Conley, PG355-90-237213
D. Arthur, PF305-111-270311
M. Gasol, C275-63-534413
H. Warrick, PF215-101-270211
Q. Ross, SF191-42-21014
D. Miles, SF170-10-01220
K. Lowry, SG131-40-02302
M. Jaric, SF10-10-00000
G. Buckner, SGDid Not Play
D. Milicic, PFDid Not Play
H. Haddadi, CDid Not Play
Totals 39-7614-2135212298
 51.3%66.7% 
Other Games
NY 122 Final
Ind 113
NJ 85 Final
Phi 83
Dal 111 Final
Mia 96
LAC 94 Final
Wash 106
GS 93 Final
Hou 110
Atl 107 Final
Mil 110
NO 93 Final
SA 106
Chi 122 Final
Pho 111
Utah 108 Final
Port 122