Road woes continue for ailing Lakers
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) – Mike Miller scored 18 points to lead the
Memphis Grizzlies to an 88-82 win over the injury-depleted Los Angeles Lakers
at The Pyramid.
Jason Williams added 17 points and 10 assists for the Grizzlies, who tied a
franchise record with their sixth straight win. Memphis also won six in a row
from November 29 to December 10, 2003.
Pau Gasol also added 17 points and Bonzi Wells scored 11 in the win.
The win was the Grizzlies’ eighth of the month, marking the first winning
month in team history.
Gary Payton had a game-high 24 points for the Lakers, who have dropped eight
straight road games for the first time since the 1988-89 season.
Los Angeles, which played without All-Stars Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and
Karl Malone, fell to 2-3 without the big three in the lineup.
“Until all of our guys get back, we can’t do anything,” said Payton. “We just
have to keep playing hard.”
Memphis trailed by six at halftime, but came roaring back in the third
quarter. The Grizzlies used a 9-2 run out of the locker room, capped by
Williams’ three-point play, to grab a 49-48 lead.
Los Angeles led 62-59 late in the third, but the Grizzlies ended the frame on
a 10-0 surge, keyed by three each from Stromile Swift and Wells, to claim a
69-62 edge after three periods.
“They dictated the tempo in the first half. You know we weren’t playing our
style of basketball,” Memphis’ James Posey said. “In the second half…we got
out and got out on a break and got some deflections, some steals and some
rebounds…Then we were playing our style of basketball.”
Memphis scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to grab a 73-62
advantage. The Lakers never seriously threatened in the final period, but
scored the game’s final five points to make the outcome look respectable.
The Lakers led 26-25 after a tightly-contested first quarter and Brian Cook’s
long jumper with 3:51 left in the half gave Los Angeles a 38-33 advantage. The
margin grew to eight later in the period and the Lakers carried a 46-40 lead
into the locker room.
Payton had 11 points, while Miller scored nine in the opening 24 minutes.