Grizzlies maul struggling Lakers
MEMPHIS – The struggling Los Angeles Lakers held a team meeting before last night’s away contest against Memphis to air out their differences and try to return to winning ways, but it proved to be in vain as they went down 109-93 to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Darrell Arthur scored 20 points off the bench, Mike Conley added 19 as the Grizzlies sent the sinking Lakers to their 10th loss in 12 games.
“They were too quick and too fast for us,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We just didn’t play well.”
While the Grizzlies (27-14) are enjoying a franchise-best start, the star-studded Lakers continue their most puzzling beginning of a storied history following a fourth straight setback that dropped them to a woeful 17-25 on the season.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 29 points, Metta World Peace added 15, while Spaniard Pau Gasol finished with 13.
However, Bryant remains optimistic his side can turn things around.
“It’s certainly getting there,” Bryant said.
“Chemistry is just one of the things but I believe we can turn this around. I’m just not sure how.”
To compound matters, the Lakers lost Dwight Howard, who left late in the second quarter after aggravating a right shoulder injury that sidelined the All-Star centre for three games earlier this month.
“Of course it’s disappointing, especially with Dwight getting hurt again,” Lakers point guard Steve Nash said.
“We find ourselves in a hole again. It’s a nightmare, it’s another chapter in a difficult season.”
Asked to characterise the meeting, Nash said, “It’s good when we get a chance to talk through it the meeting, but it was for naught in some ways.”
Miami Heat beat Toronto 123-116 in overtime with Dwyane Wade scoring 35 points.
LeBron James had 31 with 11 assists and 10 rebounds with Alan Anderson scoring 20 points for the Raptors.
Golden State Warriors edged out Oklahoma 104-99 as Stephen Curry top scored with 31 points, including two free throws with 12.4 seconds left after making a steal.
Other results: Brooklyn 91 Minnesota 83, Chicago 85 Detroit 82, Atlanta 104 Charlotte 92, Denver 105 Houston 95, Portland 100 Indiana 80, Utah 92 Washington 88, Phoenix 106 Sacramento 96, San Antonio 106 New Orleans 102.