The Lakers were in town Tuesday night to take on the Memphis Grizzlies, which was the first game of the team’s first back-to-back set of the season. Much like Sunday night, when the Lakers were expected to win and win easy, the Grizzlies weren’t expected to give Los Angeles much trouble. By the end it was a laugher, as the Lakers were able to easily dispatch of the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Lakers came out strong and Memphis looked sloppy. That’s a bad combination for the road team when they are in Los Angeles taking on the defending champions. Los Angeles stormed out to a quick 11-2 lead before Memphis was able to pick up the outside shooting. The most encouraging thing for the Lakers was the play of Kobe Bryant, who looked energetic and healthy for the second straight game.
Los Angeles was able to keep the momentum and scoring going throughout the rest of the quarter, beating Memphis to all the loose balls. The Lakers hustle reflected the score at the end of the quarter, as Los Angeles led the Memphis Grizzlies 34-23 at the end of the first.
The second quarter was more of the same for Los Angeles. As the quarter that is generally dominated by reserve players, the Lakers were able to maintain their lead. On Sunday night against Golden State, the reserves struggled and gave up much of the lead that the starters had established. That wasn’t a problem versus Memphis, as the bench was able to extend the lead. The Lakers stretched their lead to 25, as Lamar Odom hit a three to put the score at 53-28.
For the rest of the quarter the Lakers were able to keep up the pressure. Led by new additions Steve Blake and Matt Barnes, the Lakers stormed to an almost insurmountable lead. Forward Pau Gasol was clearly excited to play against his younger brother, scoring 15 points in the first half for Los Angeles. By the end of the half the Lakers had a more than comfortable lead, 73-46.
The Lakers came out of the locker room looking to put the Grizzlies away. It’s no surprise that a team up 29 points lags a bit out of the half, and the Lakers did just that. One exciting moment came when Odom put in a put-back bucket, giving him 11,000 points in his career.
What usually happens in these blow-out games is sloppy play that speeds up the game. That is what happened in the third, as the starters were doing their best to take up time and run the clock. Other than a Kobe Bryant technical about halfway through the quarter, there wasn’t a lot of fireworks in the third. After some one on one action between Pau and his younger brother Marc, the reserves came in to take over for the starters in an attempt to rest them for tomorrow night’s game in Sacramento.
After a minor run by Memphis the Lakers were able to secure the lead, heading into the fourth quarter on top of the Grizzlies 97-76.
After two three point shots to finish the third, Shannon Brown led the Lakers out onto the court in the fourth as well. With a 33 point lead the Lakers sent the Bench Mob out onto the court to finish things up. The fourth quarter looked more like a playground game than a NBA match-up, but that is what happens when the team enters the fourth with a 31 point lead.
The game, which seemed over from the beginning, finally came to an end with the Lakers heading to Sacramento with an easy win. Heading into their first back to back game of the year, the Lakers will be coming off an emphatic win, sending the Grizzlies packing with a final score of 124-105.