Final / OT

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/29

Game 1: Friday, November 29th
Game 2: Tuesday, December 3rd
Game 3: Monday, March 31st
Game 4: Friday, April 4th

Lakers 112

(6-11, 2-8 away)

Grizzlies 106


    7:00 PM ET, November 29, 2002

    1 2 3 4 OT T
    LAL 28 24 23 23 14112
    MEM 20 30 26 22 8106

    Top Performers

    LAL: K. Bryant 45 Pts, 6 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

    Mem: D. Gooden 19 Pts, 10 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Blk

    Bryant scores eight of his 45 points in OT

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Plenty of teams have trouble guarding Kobe Bryant, so it was no surprise the woeful Memphis Grizzlies couldn't stop him.


    Bryant scored eight of his 45 points in overtime Friday night to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 112-106 victory over Memphis.

    ''(Kobe) had a phenomenal game, but there's a point in the game where I had to slow him down a little bit,'' Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "He got a little too excited about it ... Kobe was so into it, it was just his night.''

    Bryant said the Lakers took advantage of the young Grizzlies down the stretch.

    "We just used our experience really and just cut them up,'' he said. "We didn't want to lose this one.''

    The Grizzlies had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but rookie Drew Gooden's shot was long.

    "The last shot in regulation was exactly how we had it drawn up. We ran a curl and a step back on the ball side, and (Gooden) was open ... We just missed the shot,'' Memphis coach Hubie Brown said.

    The Lakers (6-11) lost two road games before they got to Memphis, which started the season 0-13 before winning its previous two.

    It was the Grizzlies' first regular-season game against Los Angeles since former Lakers star and general manager Jerry West came out of retirement to become president of Memphis' basketball operations in April.

    West, who helped the Lakers to seven NBA championships, one as a player, was with Los Angeles for 40 years as a player, coach and executive.

    West watched the game from a private suite as usual and was out of sight to the sellout crowd of 19,351.

    Shaquille O'Neal tied the score at 98 with a free throw with 11 seconds left in regulation but missed his second shot.

    Memphis' Jason Williams hit a 3-pointer with 15 seconds to go in regulation to give the Grizzlies a 98-97 advantage. The fourth quarter was close throughout.

    "Jason is continuing to give it everything he's got,'' Brown said.

    O'Neal had 33 points and 13 rebounds in 43 minutes, the longest he's been on the court since he returned from surgery on his right foot five games ago.

    "I haven't played in three months,'' O'Neal said. "I've been on a treadmill. It will probably take me a couple of more games to get back to the original Diesel. But there's plenty of time.''

    Rick Fox added 13 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles.

    Memphis was led by Pau Gasol with 24 points. Gooden had 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Williams added 16 points and Wesley Person 11.

    The Lakers were up 52-50 at the half after holding a 12-point lead in the first period thanks to a 12-2 run capped by a driving layup by Bryant.

    But the Grizzlies scored nine unanswered points, including a three-point play by Lorenzen Wright and a dunk by Stromile Swift to get back in the game.

    At the end of the first period, the Lakers were up by 28-20, but the Grizzlies, after a 15-2 run, went up 35-32 at 6:28 of the second quarter on a dunk by Gasol.

    Bryant had 20 points and O'Neal had 15 in the first half to account for 35 of the Lakers' 52 points.

    The Grizzlies led 76-75 at the end of the third quarter after a 13-2 run late in period.

    Game notes

    Jackson said the Thanksgiving dinner O'Neal had for the team at his house was a success. "Most of all I played basketball for about two hours in his gym,'' Jackson said. "The turkey was great. We had a good time.'' ... Jackson said he had a heart-to-heart talk with the Lakers after they lost to the Magic on Wednesday night. "I jumped on them a little bit about not playing with the effort and intensity that they have to play with, but right now, you know, it's like trying to squeeze blood from a turnip at times.'' ... Grizzlies reserve point guard Brevin Knight missed his second straight game and sixth in the last nine because of a sprained ankle. ... The start of the game was delayed while clean-up crews swept the floor to remove debris from a larger than usual pyrotechnic display. ... The Lakers' Robert Horry, who had played in all previous games, was sidelined with a sore left foot.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press