MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- After four losses to start the season, the
Memphis Grizzlies were reeling and irritable. The intensity and
fast-break offense that led them to a franchise-record 50 wins and
their first playoff appearance last season were missing.
But Memphis finally pulled the pieces together Wednesday night
as Pau Gasol scored 22 points and Shane Battier added 18 and the
Grizzlies won for the first time this season, a 110-87 victory over
the Los Angeles Lakers.
"We were 100 percent convinced we had to get this win and turn
it around," Gasol said. "... We played defense hard and finished
fast breaks which was a very important part of the win."
Kobe Bryant had 20 points on 4-for-19 shooting for the Lakers,
who shot 37 percent.
"It was a tough night for us as a unit," Bryant said. "I can
go off solo and get 50 or 60 points on these guys, but that doesn't
mean we're going to win."
Five players were in double figures for Memphis, which outscored
the Lakers 50-32 in the paint and 27-12 on the break.
The Grizzlies, who had struggled with their shooting in the four
losses, built a 23-point lead in the first half and led by as many
as 33 in the final period. It was by far the Grizzlies' biggest
margin of victory in the series and Memphis has won three straight
at home over the Lakers.
"We finally played the way we are capable of playing in the
fourth quarter and closed out the ballgame," said Grizzlies guard
Mike Miller, who finished with 13 points. "... We had our
setbacks, but we showed our maturity by bouncing back and winning
Bryant's misses included three airballs in the third quarter
when he hit only one of eight shots. He sat out the fourth quarter.
The Lakers are in the midst of playing four road games in five
nights, and there was little Bryant could do down the stretch to
salvage the performance.
"These things happen, especially for teams just getting to know
each other," Lakers coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "It's not only a
physical thing. It's a mental thing on how we play the game."
Memphis came out with more intensity, got on the boards and
hustled for loose balls. Gasol scored 20 points and had seven
rebounds in the first half as Memphis shot 50 percent in taking a
"When you get down by 20, it's hard," Odom said. "I just
wasn't out there. It's frustrating."
Memphis controlled Bryant by rotating three defenders, mainly
Battier and Jones, on him.
"He's one of the best to play this game, and there's a lot of
times you are praying he misses a shot," Battier said.
Grizzlies F James Posey missed his second consecutive game.
The defensive specialist, who would have guarded Bryant, has been
hampered by a sprained left foot since preseason. ... The Lakers
activated F-C Slava Medvedenko. The fourth-year player had been on
the injured list with right heel bursitis. Despite being activated,
Medvedenko did not dress for the game, leaving the Lakers with 11
available players. ... Bryant received treatment for a left foot
injury after the game. "It just hurts, but you suck it up." ...
The previous largest Memphis victory over the Lakers was 10 points