NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, January 8th (All times eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (3-4) at Los Angeles Lakers (5-4), 9:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A condensed schedule and a torn ligament in his wrist haven't seemed to bother Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant. The five- time NBA champion shoots for another 30-point effort when the Lakers resume a three-game homestand Sunday night versus the Memphis Grizzlies.
Bryant has scored 30-plus points in three straight games, averaging 35.3 points over that stretch, and pumped in a season-high 39 in Friday's 97-90 triumph over the Golden State Warriors to kick off the residency. Pau Gasol totaled 17 points and 11 rebounds and Matt Barnes added 16 points for Los Angeles, which was coming off a loss at Portland on Thursday and won for the fifth time in the past seven tries.
"In the second half we had to pick up our energy," said Bryant, who is second in the NBA with 27.8 points per game. "We're trying to figure out what goes best with the lineup we have on the floor.
Andrew Bynum was held to nine points and pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds. The Lakers will also host the Phoenix Suns and are 5-1 at Staples Center this season. They have won five straight in Hollywood since losing at home to Chicago on Christmas. LA will play its 10th game in 15 days this evening, matching the Oklahoma City Thunder for the most contests in that span.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies will put the finishing touches on a three-game road trip against a tough Lakers team.
Memphis had a modest two-game winning streak stopped with Friday's 94-85 loss at Utah, as Marc Gasol netted 21 points with 11 rebounds and six blocked shots in a losing cause. Tony Allen also scored 21 points and Rudy Gay netted 17 with seven rebounds for the Grizzlies, who will be without big man Zach Randolph for a significant amount of time due to an injured knee.
"Here's the deal: Zach's not here and if he was here, we still would have gotten our butts beat if we didn't execute down the stretch," said Memphis head coach Lionel Hollins.
After visiting the Lakers, Memphis will return to Beale Street for a four-game homestand versus the Thunder, Knicks, Hornets and Bulls.
The Grizzlies and Lakers split four matchups a season ago, but Los Angeles has won 10 of the previous 14 encounters between the teams. The Lakers lead the all-time series by a 44-16 margin and are 22-15 versus the Grizzlies since they moved from Vancouver to the Volunteer State.
Memphis is just 6-16 all-time at Staples Center in this series.
01/08 10:45:11 ET