Kobe, Lakers finish stron road trip with win

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The Los Angeles Lakers' traveling show has
been getting good reviews recently.

Kobe Bryant scored 27 points and the Lakers completed a
successful, six-game trek with a 94-79 victory Wednesday night over
the Memphis Grizzlies.

The victory gave the Lakers a 5-1 record on the trip and snapped
a five-game losing streak in Memphis. The trip was the most
successful for the Lakers since a 6-0 road stint in 2000. Los
Angeles is now 8-5 this season on the road, compared to 4-5 at

"Well, I'm just disappointed we didn't go 6-0 to be honest with
you. We let one get away there," Laker coach Phil Jackson said,
laughing about the lone loss at Minnesota. "No, we've been really
fortunate with the way guys have been playing, especially on this

The Grizzlies dropped their third straight, their longest skid
of the season.

Bryant, who also had eight rebounds, connected on 10 of 17 shots
from the field and missed only two of 11 attempts in the second and
third periods. Los Angeles' 73-52 lead after three allowed Bryant
to rest in the fourth quarter and watch the Lakers' reserves
maintain the advantage.

"Our defense is what we hang our hat on," Bryant said. "We
did a great job. We got pressure on their outside shots. When the
ball went inside, we did a good job of digging it out and
contesting their layups."

Lamar Odom scored 14 for Los Angeles, and Smush Parker finished
with 13.

Mike Miller led Memphis with 21 points, while rookie Hakim
Warrick matched his season high with 11. Antonio Burks finished
with a career-high 11 points and leading scorer Pau Gasol added 10,
most coming in the fourth when the game was no longer in doubt.
Gasol grabbed 12 rebounds.

If Bryant's performance wasn't enough, the Lakers dominated
inside, outrebounding the Grizzlies 48-38 and outscoring Memphis in
the paint 48-32.

"This hasn't been a fluke," Bryant said. "This isn't a
one-game type of thing. We've been moving the ball consistently,
and it hasn't just been this game. It's been the whole (road

The Lakers used 14 first-half points from Bryant to build a
45-37 lead at the break. With Shane Battier, Memphis' leading
defender, out with an injury, the Grizzlies relied primarily on
Eddie Jones to guard the NBA's second-leading scorer.

Bryant went 5-of-11 from the field as the Lakers shot 44 percent
and led by as many as 10.

Los Angeles extended the lead at the start of the second half.
Bryant hit his first four shots -- part of an 8-of-11 burst for the
Lakers -- to build the advantage to 63-47. Los Angeles led by 23 in
the period.

"He's going to keep shooting the ball until he gets his
rhythm," Jones said of Bryant. "I think he got his rhythm going
in that third quarter, and what can you do? You can't do much of

For Memphis, it was the second double-digit loss, raising
questions about what has changed from the previous week where the
Grizzlies were on a six-game winning streak. Stoudamire said he
didn't think it was an energy problem.

"We need to find our trust factor again in one another," the
point guard said. "It seems like on the floor right now, we don't
have that trust factor. I think we're out of rhythm.

Game notes
Battier was not in uniform because of a jammed right
index finger injured in Monday's practice. He had started all
previous 20 games this season. His status is day-to-day. Miller
started in his place. ... With Battier and G Bobby Jackson (right
hamstring) injured, the Grizzlies dressed F Brian Cardinal, who had
sat out the season thus far recovering from knee surgery. He played
nine minutes and scored three points. ... Bryant has led the Lakers
in scoring in all but four games this season. ...All of the Lakers
scored, including rookie Andrew Bynum, the youngest player to ever
play in the NBA. Bynum had a point in the final 2:38.


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