The Grizzlies needed a win to try to finish this road trip to the Western Conference on something similar to a high note. The Grizzlies had dropped games against the Portland Trailblazers, against the Sacramento Kings and against the LA Clippers. Memphis latest performance hasn't been as smooth as any Grizzlies fan would have liked it to be. Dropping six out of their last 8 games going into the Staples Center to face Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, things were looking a bit too steep for the squad. At 26-21 for the season the Grizzlies still have a good chance of making in into the Playoffs but in order to get there, they have to punch in more games playing like they did against the Lakers.
Rudy Gay lead the visiting team's efforts with 18 points and 2 rebounds while O.J. Mayo had 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, giving the Grizzlies a clutch-time edge that helped them get away with a 102-96 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, giving the squad their 4th loss at the Staples Center of the season. For the Lakers, on the other hand, this was something of an unusual game. Not only did head coach Mike Brown opted to sit down an upset Kobe Bryant late in the fourth quarter, when the Black Mamba was certainly not at his best, but the squad loss despite a brilliant performance from Andrew Bynum, who finished the night with 30 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
At the end, however, Paul Gasol and Kobe Bryant's weak performance in the second half would prove to be too much of a decisive factor. Sure, it was an under par night for the Black Mamba, but he still chipped in with 18 points and 3 rebounds. And Gasol, on the other had, even though he had a 4-of-15 shooting night, he finished the night with 16 points and 14 rebounds. The Grizzlies solid game allowed them to open up a 65-51 gap early in the third quarter. The Lakers then tried to chase down the Grizzlies and with a solid performance coming from the offensive end, they managed to set up a 15-point rally to take a 66-65 lead on Ramos Sessions' 3-pointer. It was a big performance from Sessions, who finished the night with 18 points in his second game ever with the Lakers.
Still, that one-point advantage wasn't going to last too long and for the home team. But it would be up to OJ Mayo to really get things rolling at the end of the game for the Grizzlies. Mayo single handedly scored all the points during a 7-0 run in the fourth quarter that opened up an 89-76 gap that kept the Lakers far enough to keep them from coming back from a double-digit winning like they did only a month ago against the Grizzlies. "We were pretty fed up with the way we've been playing the last 10 games," Mayo said in the postgame conference. "We haven't been playing our best basketball and we feel like we're a much better team than we have been putting out there. It's a step out of the mud. It's time to get rolling."
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