After a Thanksgiving Day break, the Lakers were back at it as they played their third game in four days. They faced the Memphis Grizzlies, who had the best record in the Western Conference coming into this game.
How did they fare against them in the loud FedEx Forum? Did they do better under Mike D’Antoni’s third game? Did Pau Gasol beat up his younger brother, Marc? Did Kobe Bryant have to score 744 points to bail the Lakers out?
Let’s go through the recap!
Dwight Howard got off to a good start defensively. He had two early blocks in the first quarter. Here’s the first one.
However, the Grizzlies were beating them in transition and second chance points. The big team of Memphis was crashing the boards on both sides.
Lakers already giving up easy transition opportunities.
— NBAMVP (@NBAMVP) November 24, 2012
It really shouldn’t be an excuse (it’s their third game in four days) but the Lakers still looked a bit gassed. And it was only the first quarter. First sign of trouble? When Darius Morris looked the best in that first quarter (although understandable that Kobe would want to save his legs for later in the game).
Pau Gasol looked especially fatigued. He was shortarming a lot of his shots and was getting wrecked on defense. Pau was 1 for 6 in that first period. I think he’d rather watch Breaking Dawn than play in this game.
Memphis Grizzlies were leading after the 1st, 34-18. Justin Timberlake was probably singing falsettos.
It didn’t look pretty at first. But then again, there was nothing pretty about Antawn Jamison’s shots. However, he gave the Lakers life.
Jamison is looking good
— Jamal(@LAsHeartBeat) November 24, 2012
The Grizzlies went cold. Led by Jamison and Metta, L.A. went on a 10-0 run. And with Chris Duhon making plays, the bench, shockingly, gave the Lakers a lift. They were able to cut the lead all the way down to three.
But Memphis hung in there. The Grizzlies’ took advantage of the Lakers packing in the paint by making their outside shots. And the Lakers had a sloppy latter half of the second quarter when they threw bad passes and had fumbleitis. That erased double digit lead returned in a flash.
However, the Lakers somehow were able to stay afloat after that run by Memphis. And Kobe decided to take matters into his own hands.
Somehow, the Lakers were able to cut the deficit down to 56-49 by the half. Kobe had 14 points to lead L.A.
The Grizzlies jumped all over the Lakers, who started the second half with no energy. Pau Gasol did wake up a little bit with consecutive jumpers.
Bout time, Pau.
— Not Lupe (@Artistikk) November 24, 2012
But Memphis seemingly couldn’t miss from the perimeter. The Lakers, of course, continued to pack the paint and let the Grizzlies shoot. Surprisingly, the Lakers weren’t down by 30 at that point.
The Grizzlies kept putting on the pressure and the Lakers continued to turn the ball over. But, hey, at least, the Lakers have a better quarterback than the New York Jets right now!
It was Memphis 82, Lakers 70 at the end of 3.
The Lakers used a weapon that rarely worked: the 3-pointer. Their first four field goals were all three-pointers.
With that awakening, Meeks turned in his second straight respectable performance.
I kept telling you guys Meeks was that player.
— Jayson Villar (@jaysneakz24) November 24, 2012
Eventually, they started missing three-pointers and Memphis did just enough to counter those bricks. Kobe was definitely getting frustrated with the calls he wasn’t getting during the game. That led to some unnecessary chucking by Black Mamba. He can’t let that get into his head. And of note, Pau Gasol sat the entire fourth because of his poor play.
Memphis ended up winning the game, 106-98.
POINTS: Kobe Bryant, 30.
REBOUNDS: Antawn Jamison, 7.
ASSISTS: Kobe Bryant, 4.
BLOCKS: Dwight Howard, 4.
STEALS: Metta World Peace, 2.