Kobe Bryant hit a deep three-pointer from the top of the arc at the 2:39 mark in the fourth quarter to give the Los Angeles Lakers a six-point lead they never relinquished as they defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 96-92 on Tuesday night.
Bryant finished with 21 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the field and a perfect 1-1 from the three-point line. The Black Mamba will draw all of the headlines for obvious reasons as he returns from injury, but Nick Young had the game of note for the Lakers, with 18 points, three rebounds and one assist off the bench. Pau Gasol finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots.
Los Angeles struggled on the boards with only four offensive rebounds and lost the total rebounding margin 49-37. They made up for it by shooting 49 percent from the field and taking care of the basketball with only 14 turnovers to the Grizzlies' 15.
Zach Randolph continued his stellar play of late and led the way for the Grizzlies with 18 points and a game-high 16 rebounds, six of which came on the offensive end. Memphis totaled 18 offensive rebounds to give themselves opportunities to get back into the game after trailing by as many as 15.
The Lakers found some consistency on the defensive end and held Memphis to 40 percent from the field and 31 percent from the three-point line and totaled 10 blocked shots.