Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/22

Game 1: Monday, December 22nd
Game 2: Saturday, January 31st
Game 3: Tuesday, March 3rd
Game 4: Sunday, April 12th

Lakers 105

(22-5, 8-4 away)

Grizzlies 96

(9-18, 7-8 home)

    Coverage: FSTN

    8:00 PM ET, December 22, 2008

    FedExForum, Memphis, TN

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAL 25 24 28 28105
    MEM 25 32 23 1696

    Top Performers

    LAL: K. Bryant 36 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    Mem: R. Gay 23 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk

    Kobe forces Lakers to victory, leads Gasol to win over ex-team 

    Associated Press

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Kobe Bryant rescued the Los Angeles Lakers from a third straight loss.

    Bryant scored 36 points and keyed a late rally to help the Los Angeles Lakers snap a two-game losing streak with a 105-96 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night.

    Fast Facts

    • Kobe Bryant has scored 20 or more points in 24 of 26 games this season.

    • The Lakers are 8-5 when Bryant attempts more than 20 shots. They are 14-0 when he attempts less than 20 shots.

    • Memphis is 1-7 vs. Southwest Division opponents this season.

    • Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay has more than 20 points in five of his last seven games.

    • The Lakers are 43-10 with Pau Gasol in the lineup.

    -- ESPN research

    The Lakers trailed by 93-88 with 3:08 left, but closed the game on a 17-3 run, including 10 points from Bryant to overtake the Grizzlies down the stretch. His breakaway dunk as the horn sounded put an exclamation point on the Lakers' win.

    "We know what we want to do," Bryant said of the Lakers' late play against the young Grizzlies. "For a young team, they are still kind of searching for what that identity is going to be.

    "For us, we've been there, done that. So, it's just a matter of how well we executed."

    Bryant was 14-of-23 from the field, part of Los Angeles shooting 54 percent on the night.

    "Obviously, Kobe hit a big shot, and we never really responded to that," said Rudy Gay, who led Memphis with 23 points. "I think we took a stride, but then again, you can't be happy with a loss."

    Pau Gasol had 15 points, seven rebounds and had six assists in his return to Memphis. Gasol played six-plus seasons with the Grizzlies before being traded to Los Angeles in February. Part of the trade included his brother, Marc, going to the Grizzlies.

    "Somebody had to lose tonight, right?" Gasol said. "I'm happy we came out victorious because we needed this win extremely bad to continue to pursue our goals. But I'm sorry that on the losing end were the Grizzlies and my brother."

    Gasol is the Grizzlies franchise leader in 12 statistical categories, including points, rebounds and blocks, and the only All-Star in Grizzlies history (2006).

    Brotherly Love

    Pau Gasol faced his former team and his brother, Marc, for the first time. Since 2000, only two other pairs of brothers have started against each other in the NBA.

    Comparing the Gasols' nights
    Pau Marc
    Points 15 8
    FGM-A 6-10 2-7
    Rebounds 7 7
    Assists 6 2
    Minutes 34 32

    He was met with a mixture of cheers and boos in the pregame introductions. Later, when the Grizzlies presented a video tribute during a timeout, the boos were louder.

    Rudy Gay led Memphis with 23 points, while O.J. Mayo scored 22 and had six assists.

    Andrew Bynum had 13 points and Lamar Odom finished with 12.

    The game was close throughout without either team building a lead of more than eight through the first three quarters. The Lakers had lost their last two games on the road -- at Miami and Orlando -- by a total of five points.

    "We battled for three and a half quarters," Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni. "Unfortunately, 3 1/2 quarters isn't enough to beat the Lakers. We didn't play very well down the stretch."

    Memphis led 57-49 at the half and couldn't pull away in the third quarter. The two teams got testy as Marc Gasol and Bryant drew technicals. Odom would also draw one for arguing a no-call later in the half.

    The two teams exchanged leads late in the third period before Memphis carried an 80-77 lead into the fourth quarter.

    Game notes

    Monday was the final game of a season-long five-game homestand for the Grizzlies. After winning the first two, Memphis lost three straight. ... Earlier in the day, the Lakers announced that a pair of doctors had confirmed Jordan Farmar suffered a torn lateral meniscus and will need surgery. He could be sidelined for eight weeks.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 105 96
    FGM-FGA 40-74 (.541) 35-77 (.455)
    3PM-3PA 6-15 (.400) 9-21 (.429)
    FTM-FTA 19-27 (.704) 17-20 (.850)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-37 12-36
    Assists 24 22
    Turnovers 13 17
    Steals 9 7
    Blocks 6 5
    Fast Break Points 9 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (3/0) 24 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 9 8

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Kobe Bryant Bryant
    Points: 36
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Rudy Gay Gay
    Points: 23
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1