Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant scored 24 points and had nine
assists, and the Los Angeles Lakers continued their push for a playoff spot
with an 86-84 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Dwight Howard had nine points and 10 rebounds, but he went 1-of-2 at the foul
line with 4.1 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a chance to tie or win.
Mike Conley, who missed a jumper prior to Memphis fouling Howard, then drove
into the lane. Howard made contact, but no foul was called and the shot was
off the mark as time expired.
The result kept the Lakers a half-game ahead of Utah for the No. 8 seed in the
Western Conference. Utah won at home over New Orleans earlier Friday.
Pau Gasol contributed 19 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who have won
three in a row. They had lost three straight to the Grizzlies, including both
meetings this season.
The Grizzlies, who continue to occupy the fifth spot in the West, got 21
points from Conley. Zach Randolph scored 15 and Jerryd Bayless had 14 for the
Grizzlies, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.
Randolph's running hook shot gave Memphis an 84-83 lead with 2:32 left, and
Bryant then missed a 3-point shot. Gasol, though, utilized a pick-and-roll to
perfection as he received a Bryant pass and scored a layup with 1:36 left to
put the Lakers back on top at 85-84. That came after Conley missed a layup.
Bayless failed on a 3-point try, but Bryant missed a pair of shots and Blake
couldn't get a 3-pointer to fall to set up the finish.
The Lakers were up 25-18 after one quarter and widened the gap to as many as
13 in the second before settling for a 46-39 lead at the break.
The Grizzlies had a big rally to start the third and pushed their lead to
54-47 midway through the period following a Randolph 3-point play.
LA then turned the tables with a 19-4 spurt, capped by Antawan Jamison's 3-
point play with 1:04 left. It was 68-62 going to the fourth.
Lakers guard Steve Nash (strained right hamstring) missed the game ... Marc
Gasol had 11 points, eight boards and seven assists for Memphis.
The Sports Network