NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 3rd (All times eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (15-43) at Los Angeles Lakers (48-12), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Lakers hope to get back on track Tuesday when they welcome the hapless Memphis Grizzlies to Staples Center.
The Western Conference-leading Lakers dropped their second straight game on Sunday when Matt Barnes scored 26 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and dished out seven assists, including a huge three-pointer and five free throws late in the fourth quarter, to help the Phoenix Suns record a 118-111 victory over LA.
Playing without star point guard Steve Nash (ankle) for the third straight game, former Laker Shaquille O'Neal punched in another dominating effort, logging 33 points two days after a 45-point performance against Toronto.
Kobe Bryant shot 18-of-38 from the floor en route to a 49-point, 11-rebound effort for the Lakers, who still hold a more than comfortable 13 1/2-game lead over the Suns in the Pacific Division.
Pau Gasol was the only other LA player in double digits with 30 points, as the team dropped back-to-back games on the heels of a six-game winning streak. Lamar Odom finished with a mere four points and six rebounds before fouling out 3 1/2 minutes into the fourth quarter.
The Lakers haven't lost three in a row all season. Their last three-game losing streak was January 23-27, 2008.
The Grizzlies, meanwhile, dropped their seventh straight game in Memphis on Saturday when Russell Westbrook recorded 25 points, seven assists, and shot 15-of-17 from the foul line, as Oklahoma City hung on to beat Memphis, 99-92.
The Grizz were paced by Rudy Gay, who ended with 20 points and seven rebounds. Rookie O.J. Mayo added 18 points for the Grizzlies, while Mike Conley had 17 points and six rebounds and Darrell Arthur ended with 13 points.
The Lakers swept a pair of meetings with the Grizzlies in Memphis earlier this season and will be shooting for their fifth straight win at Staples Center, where they are a gaudy 27-4 this season. The Grizzlies are aiming for just their fourth road win of the season and are a dismal 3-23 as the visitor on the year.
03/03 10:39:10 ET