Grizzlies end 5-game skid by beating Lakers 107-99
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies were fed up with losing, and it showed in a desperate and determined fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Mike Conley scored 11 points in the final period, Jaren Jackson Jr. had 27 and the Grizzlies ended a five-game losing streak with a 107-99 victory Sunday night.
“We tried to do everything just a little bit harder than we had been doing it, and tonight it showed,” said Conley, who finished with 17 points and eight assists. “Everybody stepped up in different forms and fashions at different parts of the game. To get a win against a good team on the road, it was needed.”
Marc Gasol had 17 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Grizzlies, who had lost four straight road games.
LeBron James had 22 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists and Brandon Ingram scored 20 for the Lakers, who had won six in a row at home.
The Grizzlies used a late 13-3 run to pull away, with Gasol making a layup through contact for a 93-91 lead with 3:42 to play. Conley knocked down consecutive 3-pointers and Gasol found Garrett Temple for another 3.
Being able to play inside-out was vital to getting the offense on track, Conley said.
“It’s good when the big fella (Gasol) is aggressive and big fella is in a good flow, not necessarily looking for his shot every time but getting to the post and making plays for guys,” Conley said. “He got into a good rhythm early. And it showed in the fourth where he was able to be used as a decoy.”
James made a layup to cut the Lakers’ deficit to 104-99 with 38.5 seconds remaining, but Jackson drained a 3 at the other end.
The Grizzlies outscored the Lakers 35-24 in the fourth, hitting 12 of 20 shots from the field after shooting 42.3 percent through three quarters.
“We made too many mistakes,” James said. “No excuses. Blown coverages. We just had too many blown coverages down the stretch.”
Ivica Zubac had 19 points and Kyle Kuzma added 11 as Los Angeles lost for the third time in four games overall.
Jackson had not scored more than 17 points in his past 11 games after getting a career-high 36 against Brooklyn on Nov. 30, but coach J.B. Bickerstaff said the 19-year-old rookie’s performance against the Lakers was evidence of his potential.
“With that size, length and speed, he’s a tough matchup — period,” Bickerstaff said. “He’s coming into his own still, trying to figure all of this stuff out that’s going on, but the skill set is unique.”
LUMP OF COAL
With the focus of his postgame interview turning to the marquee game between Los Angeles and two-time defending NBA champion Golden State on Christmas, James said the loss to Memphis showed the Lakers are not in any position to make broader assessments about where the team stands.
“We just need to continue to try to get better,” James said. “I felt like we took a little step backwards today. So we want to try to get better on Tuesday, but it’s not a measuring stick for us.”
Grizzlies: There is no timetable for F Chandler Parsons to return, Bickerstaff said. Parsons has missed 30 games because of soreness in his right knee. “He’s doing all the things, all the 5-on-5 and stuff, and we’ve just got to find the right opportunity to get him on the floor,” Bickerstaff said. ... F Omri Casspi (illness) and F Joakim Noah (heel) each missed his third straight game.
Lakers: Zubac had 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting in the first half. ... C Tyson Chandler did not play because of back spasms. ... C JaVale McGee missed his fourth straight game. Los Angeles coach Luke Walton said McGee had recovered from flu-like symptoms but would need more time to get his stamina back to the point where he could play.
Grizzlies: Host Cleveland on Wednesday.
Lakers: At Golden State on Tuesday.