Associated Press Writer
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Phil Jackson wasn't surprised by Kobe
Bryant's second off night in a row.
"We were relying on Kobe and Kobe couldn't shoot the ball
because of a hand injury. He was just reluctant to shoot," Jackson
said after the Los Angeles Lakers' 85-73 loss Monday night to the
Bryant had 18 points, just one more than he scored in the
Lakers' loss Friday night in Philadelphia. He went into the game
against the 76ers averaging more than 30 points.
Jackson, who did not go into detail about the injury, said
Bryant hurt his right hand making a dunk during the Lakers' victory
over Atlanta on Nov. 8.
Against Memphis, the Lakers barely topped their shot-clock era
scoring low of 70 points, set at Cleveland in 2002.
Bryant said he hit his right index finger on the goal at Atlanta
and "it's been sore ever since."
But he put most of the Lakers' troubles on struggling to learn a
"I thought we'd have ups and downs," Bryant said. "We've got
a new system and it takes time to learn it. It's a roller coaster
Lamar Odom's assessment was a bit stronger.
"We're doing everything to lose a basketball game right now,"
Odom said. "We're not sharing the ball and we're not trusting each
other defensively or offensively."
Jackson said the Lakers "got locked into trying to do things we
"We had 19 turnovers and we can't do that," he said. "We
tried to push the ball too fast and tried to move the ball on
offensive too fast."
Pau Gasol led Memphis with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Eddie
Jones added 16 points and Mike Miller had 13 before being helped to
the locker room with just under 2 minutes left after banging his
right knee scrambling for the ball.
Shane Battier had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Memphis, and
Lorenzen Wright had 12 rebounds.
Chris Mihm had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles.
The victory was the fourth straight over Los Angeles for the
Grizzlies, who swept a three-game series last season.
Jones said the victory was largely due to the Grizzlies' tough
"Guys were rotating to the right spots and we really did a
great job defending the triangle offense that the Lakers like to
run," Jones said.
Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello said the Lakers seemed a bit worn.
"We caught L.A. on the end of a trip, and it's easy to catch a
team with their energy level down," Fratello said.
Helped by a 3-pointer from Bobby Jackson and a running layup in
tight company by Jones, Memphis launched its first offensive burst
of the night with a 10-2 run early in the second period to take a
The Grizzlies held a 42-33 advantage at intermission and kept up
the pressure in the third period with a 10-0 run that Battier
started with a 3-pointer. Miller hit four straight free throws in
The Grizzlies outrebounded the Lakers 17-5 in the third period
and began the fourth quarter with a 73-47 advantage.
Notes: The Grizzlies, ranked next to last in the NBA in free
throws, hit 76 percent (19-of-25) from the line. ... Battier, who
started just once in the 2003-04 season after joining the Grizzlies
as a rookie starter in 2001-02, has started all eight games this
season. ... In the Lakers' losses to Memphis last season, Bryant
averaged 13.3 points on 23.3 percent shooting. ... The Grizzlies
said postgame X-rays of Miller's injured knee showed no obvious
damage and further medical tests were planned.