|Date of game: 12/17/2013
Recap: Memphis vs. LA Lakers
Memphis, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Kobe Bryant played well in the second game of a back-to-back and finished with 21 points on 9-of-18 shooting as the Los Angeles Lakers downed the struggling Memphis Grizzlies, 96-92, on Tuesday.
Pau Gasol added 21 points and nine rebounds and Nick Young came off the bench and provided 18 points for the Lakers, who bounced back from Monday's 114-100 setback in Atlanta.
Zach Randolph led the Grizzlies with 18 points, 16 rebounds and five assists, but Memphis is still mired in a 1-6 slump, with five of those losses coming on its home floor.
Bryant, who netted just eight points in Tuesday's loss, appeared to injure his left leg late in the third quarter -- the same leg in which he tore his Achilles last April.
The future Hall-of-Famer walked to the bench gingerly and watched the Lakers' reserves build a double-digit lead early in the fourth, with Young's 3-pointer giving the visitors an 84-73 cushion with 7 1/2 minutes to play.
A quick 8-0 run brought the Grizzlies back within one possession, as Jerryd Bayless got a couple of runners to fall, Tony Allen put in a layup off a turnover and Bayless added a pull-up jumper to cap the rally.
Bryant was back in the floor at this point and made his presence known with a shot clock-beating 3-pointer to put the Lakers on top, 91-85, with 2:39 on the clock.
"I know I'm back when a slew of jumpers start going, especially against a defender like Tony Allen who is draped all over and is very physical. That's when I know I'm starting to feel good," Bryant said.
Allen lost an easy defensive rebound out of bounds with 1:06 remaining, and a miss by Bayless the next time down ended any chance of a Memphis comeback.
The Lakers had a terrific start as they shot 14-of-22 (63.6 percent) in the opening quarter and raced out to a 15-point lead, 34-19.
"What I wasn't pleased with was that we eased into a game that we needed to start quickly," Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said.
Memphis rookie Nick Calathes hit a 3-pointer and drove in for a layup in the final minute of the period, and Jon Leuer connected from long range to start the second, pulling the Grizzlies within 34-27.
It was a 52-47 game in the Lakers' favor at halftime, and a futile third quarter from both offenses yielded a tie game, 67-67, heading to the fourth.Game Notes
Grizzlies forward Mike Miller limped to the locker room late in the fourth
quarter after turning his ankle ... Memphis guard Mike Conley sat out with a
left thigh contusion ... The Lakers a 2-4 since Bryant returned from Achilles
surgery ... Allen finished with 16 points.