Aggressive Lakers stun wounded Grizzlies

The Lakers' Kobe Bryant (No. 24) tussling for the ball with the Grizzlies' Tony Allen during their match at Staples Centre. The home side won 107-100 to end a four-game losing streak.
The Lakers' Kobe Bryant (No. 24) tussling for the ball with the Grizzlies' Tony Allen during their match at Staples Centre. The home side won 107-100 to end a four-game losing streak.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LOS ANGELES • Tony Allen said the Los Angeles Lakers played with more of an edge on Tuesday, and the result was a surprising National Basketball Association (NBA) victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Jordan Clarkson scored 22 points, Kobe Bryant added 20 points, and the Lakers ended a four-game skid by defeating the Grizzlies 107-100 at Staples Centre.

"We needed it more than they did, obviously, but they were more aggressive tonight," said Allen, the Memphis guard who scored a game-high 27 points and hit all 12 of his field-goal attempts.

Lakers forward Brandon Bass contributed 18 points, eight of those in the final quarter, and converted some clutch baskets in the last three minutes of the game, including a reverse dunk that gave Los Angeles a 105-98 edge with 1min 2sec left.

That was too much for the Grizzlies, who missed an opportunity to pick up a half-game in the Western Conference race for the No. 4 spot with the idle Los Angeles Clippers.

Memphis (41-31) trail the Clippers by 3 1/2 games.

Julius Randle had 13 points, 14 rebounds and five assists for the Lakers (15-55), who snapped a nine-game losing streak to Memphis. Lou Williams also scored 13.

"I felt like we played hard. Certain stretches in the game we made the right defensive play," said Bryant.

Added Williams, "We stayed poised, and at the same time, we made plays down the stretch."

Zach Randolph and Lance Stephenson had 16 points each for the Grizzlies. Both players also collected six rebounds.

The short-handed Grizzlies again played without Mike Conley (left Achilles tendinitis), P.J. Hairston (left groin strain) and Brandan Wright (right knee sprain).

Randolph, though he finished the game, sprained his right ankle and limped noticeably throughout.

However, Allen used none of that as an excuse. He said: "They out-hustled us. They had a little more pep in their step, I believe. They're a young talent group. They are the future of the NBA. Take nothing away from those guys, we just should have come out here and been much better."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2016, with the headline 'Aggressive Lakers stun wounded Grizzlies'. Print Edition | Subscribe