The Los Angeles Lakers showed life in the third quarter as they cut the Memphis Grizzlies' halftime lead from 10 to three with 12 minutes left in Sunday night's game, but they were unable to sustain any momentum. The Grizzlies frustrated Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on their way to a 102-96 victory to end a recent losing streak.
The story of the game might be the issues Kobe and head coach Mike Brown had when the latter sat the former in the fourth quarter with the game's outcome still in doubt, but it should be about the Grizzlies. Memphis had a balanced effort as seven players scored in double figures to hand the Lakers just their fourth loss at the Staples Center this season.
Rudy Gay scored a team-high 18 points to help Memphis inch closer to securing a playoff berth, but bench production was key for the Grizzlies as the recently-returned Zach Randolph, along with O.J. Mayo and Hamed Haddadi, scored at least 10 points.
The Lakers struggled to a 10-point deficit in the first half, and despite mounting a third quarter comeback, they were unable to stay hot at Staples. Andrew Bynum scored a game-high 30 points while Kobe Bryant and Ramon Sessions added 18 points apiece, but the remaining starters struggled. Pau Gasol made just four of his 15 shots and Metta World Peace wasn't any better as he made just two of his nine attempts from the field.