Don’t forget about the Lakers
(Sports Network) – Dallas, Phoenix and San Antonio are the favorites in the
Western Conference, but it is hard to ignore what the Los Angeles Lakers have
done so far this season. The Lakers (23-11) are just 2 1/2 games behind the
first-place Suns in the Pacific Division.
Los Angeles tries to extend its winning streak to a season-best five straight
games when it visits the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday at the FedExForum. It is
the second meeting of the season between the Grizzlies and Lakers. On November
12th, superstar Kobe Bryant scored 21 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished
out six assists to lead the Lakers over Memphis, 91-81, at Staples Center.
The Lakers have lost six of their last 10 at the Grizzlies. These teams have
split the last four contests in the series.
Sasha Vujacic scored a career-best 16 points and hit a trio of three-pointers
in the final quarter, as the Lakers ended Dallas’ 13-game winning streak with
a thrilling 101-98 triumph over the Mavericks on Sunday at the Staples Center.
Vujacic ended 6-of-7 from the field, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, and
Bryant tallied 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists in the win over the
Mavericks for Los Angeles.
Luke Walton ended with 21 points for Los Angeles, while Ronny Turiaf had 13
points and Smush Parker scored 11, and came up with a huge block in the final
seconds for the Lakers, who tied a season-high with their fourth consecutive
win. The victory also marked head coach Phil Jackson’s 900th career NBA win,
the fastest to reach that mark in league history.
The Lakers are 7-7 on the road this season. They will visit Tracy McGrady and
the Houston Rockets on Wednesday at the Toyota Center. Houston
is 0-2 against the Lakers this season, as it lost once at home and on the
Forward Lamar Odom is still sidelined with a sprained right MCL. Odom is
averaging 17.5 points, a team-best 8.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 21
contests. He last played on December 12th against the Rockets.
Bryant leads the Lakers in scoring (28.4 ppg) and assists (5.5 apg). He has
scored more than 25 points in five of his last six outings.
The Lakers have scored over 100 points in six straight games and are 17-6
when they reach the century mark this season.