Grizzlies Beat Lakers 5th Straight Time - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Jarvis Greer

Grizzlies Beat Lakers 5th Straight Time

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

Memphis Grizzlies.

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

new offense.

"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

ride, man."

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

can't do."

"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

defense.

"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

34-27 lead.

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 run.

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.

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