For the second game in a row, the Lakers lost to one of the league’s worst teams, falling 114-111 to the Grizzlies. Kobe Bryant had his best scoring night of the season, totaling 53 points, including 34 in the first half alone. However, Rudy Gay (28 points, 7 rebounds) and the rest of a scrappy Memphis bunch proved too much for the Lakers in the end, with L.A. botching a chance to launch a potential game-tying three pointer with 0.9 seconds left in the game.
After the game, Jackson said, “Well that was an unusual night from us. A lot of threes out there, a lot of raining shots. We came out with a purpose tonight, obviously, and I think it kind of dinted some of the other guy’s effort in the process, but it was good to see him attack, at least early.”
The Lakers launched 45 three pointers, making 15 of them, compared to two for 12 for Memphis. Although Sasha Vujacic was second to Bryant in scoring, it took him 14 three point attempts to reach the total.
After the game, Jackson said that attrition was partially to blame for the Lakers’ woes on defense.
“There’s some of that,” said Jackson. “I thought Fish wasn’t getting a good lift off his shot, he looked like he’s hesitant out there. We had a lot of opportunities, we just have to start setting up defensively. I mean we fouled three point shooters, 38 foul shots to give up on your own home court against a team that basically, that’s not their game to get to the foul line, their game is to shoot outside shots and run the ball.”
After three explosive games in a row, Lamar Odom finally cooled for the purple and gold, scoring only two points despite pulling down 11 rebounds and dishing out 11 assists. Jackson opted to sit Odom for much of the fourth quarter.
Jackson said, “I thought Luke was giving us a lift, and I thought that Lamar didn’t look like he was playing the right way so to speak, he wasn’t putting a lot of energy into it, he wasn’t as bouncy as I’d like to see him be. It was just a matter of getting guys out on the floor that we thought could function well against the zone.”