LOS ANGELES — In their final home game of the season it was much of the same for the Los Angeles Lakers as they suffered their seventh straight loss in a 102-90 rout at the hands of the Memphis Grizzles on Sunday night at Staples Center.
After a competitive first half that featured seven lead changes and five ties, the Grizzles took command of the game in the third quarter after the game was tied at 61-61 as they went on 26-8 run. Next, L.A. went on a 13-0 spurt in the final four minutes of the quarter, going 0-for-8 shooting from the field during that span.
For the quarter, Memphis shot the ball an impressive 68 percent.
In the fourth frame, Memphis maintained their double digit that grew to as much as a game-high 22 points with Los Angeles not get any closer than 12 points. It was an overall defensive performance by the Grizzles who forced the Lakers to shoot just 44 percent from the field, outrebounded them by 52-32, and outscored them in the paint 48-34.
“I thought we played hard,” Jodie Meeks said after leading the Lakers with 20 points. “We just had a little lull in the third quarter but most of our guys played hard it was unfortunate we didn’t win.”
It was an abysmal third quarter for the Lakers as they shot 29 percent from the field with just six made field goals as they were outscored 34-17. It was a stark contrast from the first half where they shot 54 percent from the field and had 17 assists on 21 made field goals.
“I think it was a couple of things. We were getting stops in the first half, which made it easier to run and get out in transition,” Kendall Marshall said after finishing with nine points and nine assists in 29 minutes played in Sunday’s loss. “In the second half, when they’re scoring on the first or second chance, the defense is already back a step. We also got kind of stagnant in the third quarter, but you also have to give them credit, they turned it up in the second half.
But it was also a game the Lakers couldn’t help but look forward to at the end of the season with just two more games to play against the Utah Jazz on Monday and San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.
“We just got to get a couple more games so surely they can fight through this,” head coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We’d still like to win one or two and finish up right, but again, it’s important just to play hard and just be professional.”
For Jordan Farmar, the loss can used as motivation to be a better team moving forward.
“We can use tonight as motivation definitely,” Farmar said. “People love to see us down and they’re enjoying this time right now, but it will not last for long and I look forward to the future.”
Los Angeles got off to a fast start as they recorded assists on their first seven made field goal to give them a 16-10 lead. However, Memphis responded as they took the lead at 23-20 after a 9-0 run. The Lakers led by Meeks nine points in the opening grabbed the lead right back as they end the quarter on a 7-1 spurt to end the quarter.
The second quarter featured more back and forth action as after the Lakers extended their advantage to nine points at 39-30, The Grizzles regained the lead after a 13-0 run that included seven of Conley’s 14 first-half points. The final four minutes of the quarter featured three lead changes with Memphis holding a 53-52 lead at the half.
In the quarter, Memphis held a 17-8 rebounding advantage with an 8-0 edge in offensive rebounds.
Photo Credit: Justin Lane / EPA /