Tony Allen said the Los Angeles Lakers played with more of an edge on Tuesday, and the result was a surprising victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Jordan Clarkson scored 22 points, Kobe Bryant added 20 points, and the Lakers ended a four-game skid by defeating the Grizzlies 107-100 Tuesday night at Staples Centre.
“We needed it more than they did, obviously, (but) they were more aggressive tonight,” said Allen, a Memphis guard who scored a game-high 27 points and hit all 12 of his field-goal attempts.
Lakers forward Brandon Bass contributed 18 points, eight of those in the final quarter, and converted some clutch baskets in the last three minutes of the game, including a reverse dunk that gave Los Angeles a 105-98 edge with 1:02 remaining.
That was too much for the Grizzlies, who missed an opportunity to pick up a half-game in the Western Conference race for the No 4 spot with the idle Los Angeles Clippers.
Memphis (41-31) trails the Clippers, who meet the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, by 3 1/2 games.
Julius Randle had 13 points, 14 rebounds and five assists for Los Angeles, which snapped a nine-game losing streak to Memphis. Lou Williams also scored 13 for the Lakers (15-55).
“We covered some mistakes,” said Bryant, who made seven of 18 shots from the floor, hit two of five 3-pointers and committed four turnovers in 30 minutes.
“I felt like we played hard. Certain stretches in the game we made the right defensive play.”
Added Williams, “We stayed poised, and at the same time, we made plays down the stretch.”
Zach Randolph and Lance Stephenson had 16 points each for the Grizzlies, who were coming off a 103-97 win over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night. Both players also collected six rebounds.
Randolph’s boards allowed him to pass Artis Gilmore for 47th place on the NBA’s all-time rebounding list with 9 163.
The short-handed Grizzlies again played without Mike Conley (left Achilles tendinitis), P.J. Hairston (left groin strain) and Brandan Wright (right MCL sprain). They already lost Marc Gasol (broken right foot) for the season.
Randolph, though he finished the game, sprained his right ankle and limped noticeable throughout.
However, Allen used none of that as an excuse.
“They played with a little more energy than us tonight,” Allen said of the Lakers.
“They outhustled us. They had a little more pep in their step, I believe. They’re a young talent group. They are the future of the NBA. Take nothing away from those guys, we just should have come out here and been much better.”
Lakers rookie guard D’Angelo Russell sustained a bruised left shin in the second quarter and did not return for the second half. Russell finished with 11 points in 22 minutes.