Inactives for Tonight’s Game:
Grizzlies: Andre Brown, Aaron McKie
Lakers: Trevor Ariza, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol
10:24 Kobe nails a three pointer after the assist by Lamar Odom. Kobe’s scored all five Lakers points so far with his last make tying the score at five all.
7:37 Kobe is still the only Laker to score, personally lead the Grizzlies 10-7 to open up the game after making another three pointer off of an Odom pass.
7:16 Mbenga checks into the game early tonight, replacing Turiaf who’s already picked up his second personal foul.
4:29 Finally, another Laker besides Kobe Bryant scores, as Odom makes a nifty face-up jumper from about 10 feet out. The Grizzlies have hung with the purple and gold so far though, taking an early 15-14 lead and showing no fear whatsoever after watching the lowly Bobcats dismantle L.A. Rudy Gay leads Memphis in points with seven. Farmar and Walton enter the game after the timeout.
3:59 It only took Farmar 30 seconds to launch his first shot of the night, nailing a three pointer that ties the score at 17. On the Lakers’ next possession, Kobe just one-upped Jordan by connecting on a three of his own.
2:32 The Grizzies call timeout, trailing by one point. Bad news for the Lakers though as Mbenga just picked up his second personal to match the two fellow big man Turiaf is already saddled with. The Lakers will be forced to play small-ball for the time being, enhancing the size advantage already held by the Grizzlies. Darko Milicic has been a monster on defense so far, blocking three shots already to go along with six points.
2:32 Vujacic enters the game after the timeout.
1:51 Kobe hits yet another three, pushing his total on the game to 21 points on a perfect five of five from beyond the arc. Kobe is shooting 6-11 overall.
8:39 Lamar Odom just caught Javaris Crittenton for the second time tonight, swatting this one across the basket and out towards the Lakers bench that JCritt used to call home. Javaris protests this one, but the replay shows that it was pretty clean. It’s strange to see him running around in the dark blue of the Grizzlies. You can’t help but feel a little bad for the guy, moving from one of the elite franchises in the NBA to a team that Pau Gasol declared could never win a championship in Memphis. Lakers down one point at 37-36.
7:09 Kobe’s first personal of the game comes at mid-way through the second quarter as a charging call goes against him. His second comes 25 seconds later as he plows into Juan Carlos Navarro in the act of shooting a three. Both are uneventful as #24 walks the other direction without so much as a word to the official. With Bryant sitting tight at the 15 technical mark (one away from an automatic suspension) every foul and/or questionable call will be an “edge of your seat” situation.
5:42 The Grizzlies lead by one at the break, but the real story is Kobe–and not just because he’s sporting the Nelly bandaid under the eye look (strange since Nelly has been to the last two games, but isn’t here tonight. I think he was rooting for the visiting team both times and if that’s the case, good riddance). Bryant has 27 points on 8/15 shooting and a perfect 6/6 from the line. It’s not the Grizzlies fault that he’s angry, they’re just incurring the wrath caused by various NBA officials.
5:28 Another Kobe trey pushes his total to 30.
4:27 Layup for #24… 32 points and counting. Don’t make that guy mad, it’s just bad for business. Lakers lead 47-41.
3:33 After an unsuccessful trip where he had two good chances rim out Kobe comes back with reckless abandon even as the quick double team hits, sinking the layup as he’s being fouled. Tough luck on the free throw end, but he’s got 34.
3:09 Kobe’s got the look of a man not willing to pass, but just as you start thinking that he shoots a behind the back cross court lazer to Radman that should have been an easy dunk. Instead it’s two free throws. No assists for the Bean, but it makes the Griz cognizant that if they double him they’re going to be in bad shape as well.
Kobe’s put on a show in the first half, no doubt about that, but the Lakers D has also been fairly porous, allowing a lot of easy baskets to the Grizzlies. Ronny Turiaf is struggling, shooting 1 of 7 and picking up three fouls in the first half. Tie ball game at 53s.
11:01 Kobe makes his first two shots of the half, first connecting on a jumper just inside the arc and then making sure he got three points on his next attempt. The two makes have given the Lakers a quick 58-53 lead and boosted Bryant’s total on the night to 39.
10:27 Almost immediately, Turiaf picks up foul number three sending Mbenga into the game.
8:14 Fisher drives into the lane and throws up a difficult underhanded shot that grazes the rim, but barely crawls in. Derek has struggled tonight, shooting only two for six from the field so far.
6:56 Kobe continues to hit three after three, knocking in yet another for his 45th point of the night. On the Lakers’ next possession, Kobe just weaved his way down the floor for an uncontested dunk and point number 47.
4:27 Radmanovic knocks down a three pointer for his ninth point of the night. Amazingly, Kobe has not touched the ball for the past three Lakers’ possessions.
32.9 Chris Mihm surprises the STAPLES Center crowd, making his return from injury to replace Mbenga who just fouled out of the game. While Kobe sat for the final three plus minutes of the quarter, the Grizzlies took over, now up 89-80 heading into the fourth as seemingly no Laker other than Kobe’s been able to make a shot. As a team, L.A. is shooting only 38% from the floor.
7:22 Timeout on the court as the Lakers find themselves down in the fourth quarter to one of the league’s worst teams for the second game in a row. The Lakers’ poor shooting from the field has continued in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, with Kobe Bryant’s 49 points providing the only solace for the Lakers’ otherwise abysmal offense. Meanwhile, Turiaf replaces Chris Mihm at center.
6:05 After the Lakers’ spurned Kobe’s request for the ball, Luke makes a contested shot in the lane and gets a foul call to go with it. The Lakers still trail the Grizzlies 96-102 though.
5:24 Luke delivers a perfect pass to a running Turiaf who hammers it home for a monster dunk that bring the Lakers to within five of Memphis at 99-104. The Lakers have cut it down to five or six points several times in the past few minutes, but have been unable to stop the Grizzlies on the next possession.
3:34 After allowing yet another critical bucket to Memphis, Farmar drives deep into the lane and is rewarded with a foul call and two makes. Jordan has 11 points on the night, but the Lakers are still down by five.
50.6 After missing his last three, Sasha nails a clutch jumper to bring the Lakers to within two of the Grizzlies at 111-109 with under a minute to go. On the previous possession, Turiaf came up with a monster block on a Memphis drive to give the Lakers the ball. Sasha is shooting five of 16 on the night and apparently has the green light to shoot from long range as long as Memphis continues to leave him wide open.
16.6 Lamar misses a huge three pointer to give the Lakers the lead and Lowry sinks both free throws on the foul to give the Grizzlies a four point lead.
FINAL SCORE:Grizzlies 114, Lakers 111