The offense is back in Memphis!
I expected Mike D'Antoni to hide Steve Nash on Tony Allen in this game, but he didn't. Instead, Steve was put on Mike Conley. It's no coincidence that Mike led the Grizz starters with 19 points in the game.
I also expected Darrell Arthur to have a big night. I was actually right on this one, as he had 20 to lead Memphis. Opposite him, Pau Gasol had 13 & 8 on the night. But DA had the bigger impact.
It wasn't a great start to the game, both in energy or production. It also wasn't looking so good for MEM early in the 2nd quarter (despite a monster throw-down by rookie Tony Wroten). It's usually a time in the game when the Lakers fall behind. They were hanging around. But the Grizz were killing them on the offensive boards, and it paid off eventually. As the half dragged on, Memphis took control.
And they never relinquished it.
Dwight Howard went out late in that 1st half, courtesy of Rudy Gay. Howard re-injured his shoulder setting a pick on Rudy, who did his best Derek Fisher impression. He went right into him. Of course, Marc Gasol softened that bad shoulder up nicely the entire half. It was truly a team effort.
Dwight did not return.
Despite leading by 15 at one point, Memphis was only up 9 at halftime. But with Pau starting the second half in Howard's place, it only got better for Memphis. The lead was 10 at the end of the 3rd. Then, halfway through the fourth, it balooned to 20.
The final score was 106-93.
Memphis destroyed L.A. on the boards in this game, with the final tally being 52-34. But what do you expect? They had Metta World Peace on Zach Randolph for a good part of the game. Z-Bo had 12 pts & 10 rebs. Those aren't huge numbers but Zach was definitely a factor inside.
Kobe Bryant, who earlier in the day admitted to teammates he "can be hard to play with", tried to assert himself late. The refs turned a blind eye. The more aggressive team usually gets the calls, and Memphis was that all night.
The Grizzlies are now 27-14 (the Lakers, 17-24).