Lakers start strong, but can't fend off Memphis Grizzlies in loss, 109-106

Lakers nearly upset Southwest division leaders Memphis in loss 109-106

Grizzlies 109 - Lakers 106 (end of regulation)

The Lakers lost a close on Friday night, falling by three to the Memphis Grizzlies.

After giving up a 12-point first-half lead, the Lakers found themselves down six with about five minutes left, but Nick Young scored five points in 17 seconds with a three-pointer, a steal and a layup.

Mike Conley answered with a three of his own, followed by a pair of free throws from Marc Gasol to put the Memphis lead back up to six.

Ed Davis gave the Lakers three layups in the final minutes. Tayshaun Prince answered with a tip shot and then a floater with 42.2 seconds, to put the Grizzlies up 106-102.

Bryant kept the Lakers' hopes alive with a three-pointer to get his team within a point with 24.2 left. Conley split a pair of free throws, giving the Lakers a chance to tie or shoot for the win with 11.7, down two.

With the clock running down, instead of shooting, Bryant passed to Davis, who was fouled by Prince. Davis hit his first attempt but missed the second, giving the Grizzlies the ball with 2.1 seconds left on the clock, up 107-106.

Courtney Lee ended the scoring with a pair of free throws with 0.6 seconds left, giving the Lakers time for one last prayer.

Bryant got a shot off at the buzzer, but his three-point attempt didn't fall.

Jeremy Lin and Davis led the Lakers with 20 points each. Bryant scored 15 with nine rebounds and eight assists. Young added 14.

Carlos Boozer fouled out with 14 points in 21 minutes, as did Jordan Hill, with three points and eight boards in 21 minutes.

The Lakers shot 53.1% from the field. Memphis shot 48.8% but converted 21 of 31 free throws (67.7%). The Lakers made 14 of 19 attempts at the line (73.7%).

The Grizzlies were led by Conley with 19. Gasol had 18, Beno Udrih 16, Courtney Lee 14 and Prince 12.

Memphis forward Zach Randolph sat out with a knee injury.

The Lakers (10-23) host the Indiana Pacers (13-21) on Sunday at Staples Center. The Grizzlies (24-8) travel to Denver to play the Nuggets (13-20) on Saturday night.

Grizzlies 80 - Lakers 77 (end of third quarter)

The Grizzlies took the lead in the third quarter, out-scoring the Lakers 33-25.

Marc Gasol notched a double-double in just over 30 minutes, with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Memphis had five players in double figures including Courtney Lee (12 points), Beno Udrih (12), Mike Conley (11) and Tayshaun Prince (10).

Both Ed Davis (13 points) and Jordan Hill (three points) were rung up with four fouls. Carlos Boozer got time at center against Gasol, with Ryan Kelly at forward.

Jeremy Lin led the Lakers with 15 points. Kobe Bryant scored 12 with six rebounds and six assists.

The Grizzlies improved to 47.7% from the field; the Lakers hit 50.8%

Lakers 52 - Grizzlies 47 (halftime)

Jeremy Lin scored 13 points in as many minutes, hitting six of eight shots to help the Lakers push their lead all the way to 12.

Tayshaun Prince hit a three-pointer right before the halftime buzzer to get the Grizzlies within five.

The Lakers shot 53.7% from the field. Ed Davis scored 11 points with seven rebounds and two blocks. Kobe Bryant scored four with four rebounds and five assists.

Memphis shot just 39.1% from the field, led by Marc Gasol with 12 points.

Ryan Kelly made his fourth appearance of the season (hamstring), scoring two points with a rebound in just under three minutes.

Lakers 25 - Grizzlies 22 (end of first quarter)

Ed Davis, formerly with the Memphis Grizzlies, gave his former team a hard time for nine minutes in the first quarter on Friday.

Davis managed nine points with six rebounds and a block, making three of four attempts from both the field and the line.

The Lakers pushed ahead by as many as 10 points, but the Grizzlies closed the quarter well, inching to within three.

Mike Conley and Jon Leuer led the Grizzlies with four points apiece. Memphis shot 36.4% from the field while committing two turnovers.

Kobe Bryant didn't score in just over 9 1/2 minutes, but dished three assists.

The Lakers shot 50.0% with five turnovers.

Pregame

The Lakers (10-22) host the Memphis Grizzlies (23-8) on Friday at Staples Center.

The Grizzlies have recently played without power forward Zach Randolph (knee), while center Marc Gasol missed practice on Wednesday because of an illness but is expected to be available against the Lakers.

Ryan Kelly (hamstring) is set to play in only his fourth game of the season while the Lakers are still without Steve Nash (back) and Julius Randle (leg).

For an in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs Memphis Grizzlies.

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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