x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Lakers gear up for rematch with Celtics after winning over Grizzlies

Defence holds good in positive start to a lengthy road trip despite the offence shooting at just 43 per cent success rate.

The Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, left, is fouled by Rockets center Chuck Hayes during the fourth quarter.
The Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, left, is fouled by Rockets center Chuck Hayes during the fourth quarter.

MEMPHIS // The Los Angeles Lakers survived an off night to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 93-84 on Monday and continue their positive start to a lengthy seven-game road trip.

Kobe Bryant scored 19 points despite making just 6 of 17 shots, and Lamar Odom finished with 15 and 11 rebounds to make it two wins from two for the Lakers (36-16) on their extended trip.

The champion Lakers were able to lean on their defence, holding Memphis to 39 second-half points in their triumph.

"Defensively, we did a decent job of stopping the ball and shut their bigs (big players) down," Lakers center Andrew Bynum told reporters after collecting 11 points.

"I don't know how many turnovers they had, but we got a lot of stops and that's what did it for us."

Out of sync offensively for much of the night, the Lakers missed 14 free throws and shot just 43 per cent from the field while All-Star Bryant committed six turnovers.

Los Angeles pulled it together in the fourth where they led 78-76 midway before embarking on an 11-0 run that sealed the win.

Sam Young had a team-high 22 points for the Grizzlies (27-26), who fell to their second straight loss after enjoying a five-game winning streak.

Rudy Gay added 18 points and eight rebounds for the home team which trailed for most of the night.

Spanish forward Pau Gasol had 17 points and nine rebounds for Los Angeles to outduel brother Marc Gasol, who recorded 10 points and 12 rebounds in a losing effort.

The Lakers will now prepare for their rematch with rival Boston on Thursday after the Celtics emphatically beat Los Angeles 109-96 on Jan 30.

The Celtics and Lakers have met in two of the last three NBA Finals, with each team capturing one series each.

"We want to see how much we improved since the last time we faced them," Bryant said. "Obviously, it's a short turnaround from the last time but still it's a good test."


Charlotte 94 Boston 89

Minnesota 104 New Orleans 92

LA Lakers 93 Memphis 84

Dallas 99 Cleveland 96

Houston 108 Denver 103