Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 3)

Series starts 11/10

Game 1: Wednesday, November 10th
Game 2: Monday, December 20th
Game 3: Sunday, April 3rd

Lakers 82

(33-40, 11-25 away)

Grizzlies 102

(41-31, 23-13 home)

    Coverage: FSS

    7:00 PM ET, April 3, 2005

    FedExForum, Memphis, TN

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAL 14 18 32 1882
    MEM 32 23 24 23102

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles: C. Butler 18 Pts, 8 Reb, 5 Ast

    Memphis: M. Miller 22 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    Kobe hurt in Lakers loss

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- With their playoff hopes all but gone, Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Hamblen knew that there was no reason to keep an injured Kobe Bryant on the floor.

    With Sunday's 102-82 loss to Memphis, the Lakers have dropped 11 of their last 12 games, including eight straight on the road.

    Los Angeles, already short-handed with Chris Mihm hurt and Lamar Odom placed on the injured list before the game, got limited time from Bryant, who left the game in the second quarter with a right leg injury.

    "He was out there limping around, and he's too valuable of a property to risk in a game like this," Hamblen said.

    Lakers officials said Bryant was kicked in the shin during the team's loss in San Antonio on Saturday night and he aggravated the injury against the Grizzlies.

    Bryant played the first quarter and had nine of the Lakers' 14 first-quarter points. When he returned to the game near the 6-minute mark of the second quarter, he was limping. He was removed from the game during the next timeout and had an icepack wrapped around his right leg. He is day-to-day.

    The loss put Los Angeles 8½ games behind seventh-place Memphis and Denver with nine to play.

    "We're not going to run the table the rest of the way," Hamblen said, "and the other teams aren't going to lose every game.

    "We know elimination is coming."

    Mike Miller scored 22 points to help the Grizzlies move into the tie with idle Denver. The two teams are three games ahead of ninth-place Minnesota, which beat Sacramento earlier Sunday.

    Los Angeles also lost Brian Grant in the second quarter to a pair of technicals, leaving the Lakers with a makeshift lineup the rest of the way.

    "Certain nights you catch teams who are short-handed or catch them on the second night of a back-to-back," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said. "They played a tough game (at San Antonio Saturday night), and they got tired tonight.

    "It's been a tough stretch for the Lakers."

    Memphis led by 27 in the first half, and the Lakers never cut the deficit into single digits.

    Lorenzen Wright added 16 points for Memphis, while Brian Cardinal had 15 points off the bench. Pau Gasol had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Gasol, who missed 23 games with a foot injury, has scored in double figures the last three games.

    Caron Butler led Los Angeles with 18 points, and Chucky Atkins added 13 points.

    Memphis built a 32-14 lead in the first period as the Lakers struggled from the field. Bryant had four field goals, but the rest of the team missed 11 of its 12 shots.

    "I got two quick fouls, and then our intensity wasn't there," Grant said. "(Memphis) is very hard-nosed. ...If you are not ready for them then what happened to us will happen to you. They will embarrass you."

    The Lakers actually got an offensive spark in the second half after Bryant left the game. Butler keyed the rally with nine points, and Sasha Vujacic had seven as Los Angeles cut into the Memphis lead. The Grizzlies carried a 79-64 lead into the fourth quarter.

    Memphis dominated the inside with a 58-32 advantage in the paint for the game and outrebounded the Lakers 54-41.

    "I think it is simple for us," Memphis forward Shane Battier said. "When we rebound, we win. When we struggle to rebound, we make it really tough on ourselves. That's the bottom line."

    Game notes

    Memphis won all three games against the Lakers this season, marking the first Grizzlies sweep of Los Angeles in franchise history. ...The medical list for the game was long. The Lakers were without Odom and Mihm, who injured his right ankle in Saturday's loss at San Antonio. Meanwhile, Memphis placed C/F Stromile Swift on the injured list prior to the game with an irregular heartbeat and was without F James Posey, who is still recovering from a bruised right hip. ... Grant was ejected when he threw an elbow into the chest of Gasol. The two exchanged words and Grant got a second tech, sending him to the locker room. Gasol also received a technical in the confrontation. ...Vujacic had 10 points, a career-high for the rookie from Slovenia. ...The Grizzlies announced Sunday that Dick Versace, the team's general manager, is leaving effective immediately to pursue other professional opportunities. Versace had been with the organization since 1999.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 82 102
    FGM-FGA 33-87 (.379) 39-85 (.459)
    3PM-3PA 6-22 (.273) 2-12 (.167)
    FTM-FTA 10-13 (.769) 22-30 (.733)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-41 16-54
    Assists 19 26
    Turnovers 11 11
    Steals 5 9
    Blocks 1 10
    Fast Break Points 23 14
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 28 (4/0) 16 (2/0)
    Largest Lead 0 27

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Caron Butler Butler
    Points: 18
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Mike Miller Miller
    Points: 22
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0