NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, December 17th
(All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (11-13) at Memphis Grizzlies (10-13), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - One season after being nearly unstoppable at home, the
Memphis Grizzlies have struggled to hold it down on their own court.
The Grizzlies, mired in a season-high three-game losing streak, aim to get a
win at FedExForum Tuesday versus Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Memphis has dropped five of six games, including Sunday's 101-93 setback to
the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Grizzlies entered the matchup having won 11
straight and 14 of the last 15 meetings with the Timberwolves, but couldn't
slow down a visiting team led by Kevin Love. Love had 30 points and nine
rebounds to help Minnesota snap an eight-game slide on Beale Street.
"I can't (remember winning in Memphis). It's been a long time, if ever, that
we've won in Memphis. It's a very tough place to play," Love said.
Mike Conley netted 28 points and Zach Randolph had 20 points and 12 rebounds
for the Grizzlies.
"Obviously, we want to hang our hat on the defensive end. These last couple of
games we haven't been doing that," said Grizzlies guard Tony Allen, who ended
with seven points and seven rebounds.
Jon Leuer and Jerryd Bayless scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, off the
bench in a losing effort.
After the Grizzlies, who are 5-9 at home, host the Lakers, they will visit
Dallas and New York. The Grizzlies set a franchise record last season with a
32-9 mark at FedExForum.
In injury news for Memphis, Conley (thigh) is questionable versus Los Angeles
and the team is already without center and reigning Defensive Player of the
Year Marc Gasol because of a balky knee.
The Lakers fell back into the loss column with Monday's 114-100 loss at
Atlanta and are 1-4 since Bryant returned from Achilles surgery. Bryant
finished with eight points and six assists and made just 4-of-14 shots, one
game after posting a season-high 21 points in a win at Charlotte.
Bryant has scored in single digits three times in five games. He talked about
his left leg afterward.
"The next level of progression is playing these games when you sit back out,
get back in, is keeping it loose," Bryant said on the team's website. "It's
just a matter of time. You increase the activity, the ankle gets used to it a
little more. I've just got to keep my eye on the big picture and focus on
Lakers leading scorer Nick Young (14.8 ppg) had 23 points off the bench and
Jordan Hill recorded 21 and nine rebounds. Xavier Henry scored 18 points and
Pay Gasol added 16 and 10 boards for the Lakers, who were outscored by a 35-19
in the third quarter.
Atlanta had six players score in double figures.
L.A. is 1-2 on a four-game road trip and 5-7 away from home. The Lakers will
return to Staples Center to host Minnesota on Friday.
The Lakers suffered an 89-86 loss to the Grizzlies at home on Nov. 15 and have
dropped four of the past five meetings between the teams. Los Angeles is
winless in two straight games at Memphis.
12/17 10:34:12 ET