The Memphis Grizzlies (48-32) had everything to play for Sunday night, still battling to hold onto the final available postseason berth with the Phoenix Suns (47-33) still a threat, and pulled away in the second half to defeat the Lakers, 102-90.
The Lakers (25-55) had every reason to lose. Following two consecutive wins from the Boston Celtics (25-55) and a Monday night meeting in Utah against the Jazz (24-56), the Lakers have a chance to climb to the fourth position in the NBA's draft lottery.
Against the Grizzlies, the Lakers opened a nine-point lead early but typical to their lost season, the team couldn't hold a lead.
Memphis blew open the game by outscoring the Lakers in the third quarter, 34-17. The Grizzlies were able to hold off any significant fourth-quarter run by the Lakers.
With the win, the Grizzlies improved their lead over the Suns to one game with two to play. Memphis owns the head-to-head tiebreaker, too. The two teams will meet on Monday in Phoenix, with the Suns needing a victory to avoid elimination.
Memphis point guard Mike Conley led all scorers Sunday with 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting to go along with eight assists. Center Marc Gasol had a double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Forward Mike Miller added 13 points while power forward Zach Randolph and guard Courtney Lee scored 10 apiece.
Guard Jodie Meeks was the high-point man for the Lakers with 20. Swingman Wesley Johnson contributed a double-double of 15 points and 15 rebounds.
Jordan Hill, who was initially questionable for the game with a migraine, also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Forward Nick Young added 14 points off the bench for the Lakers, who shot 43.8% from the field and 40.7% (11 of 27) from three-point range.
The Grizzlies hit 47.7% of their shots from the field and 53.3% (8 of 15) from long range. Both teams had 17 turnovers.
It was the Lakers' last home game of the season, and they played without Pau Gasol (vertigo), Chris Kaman (calf), Kobe Bryant (knee), Xavier Henry (knee, wrist), Steve Nash (back) and Kent Bazemore (foot).
Grizzlies 87, Lakers 69 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers have often struggled this season in the third quarter. Sunday was no exception.
Memphis finished the quarter ahead by 18 points, the largest lead of the game.
Mike Conley shot a blistering 9 of 11 from the field for 22 points and he also has seven assists. Marc Gasol reached a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lakers were led by Jodie Meeks with 16 points. Nick Young contributed 14 points, while Jordan Hill has a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds).
Grizzlies 53, Lakers 52 (halftime)
After falling behind by as many as nine points to the Lakers, the Grizzlies pulled ahead by two after two quarters.
Mike Conley led all scorers with 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Memphis shot 43.1% from the field. Courtney Lee and Tony Allen both scored eight.
The Lakers were led by Jodie Meeks and Nick Young, with 11 points apiece. Young wowed the crowd with a spinning, 360-degree layup.
As a team, the Lakers shot 53.8% from the field and 42.9% (6 of 14) from behind the arc. Memphis was hot from the outside, hitting 62.5% (5 of 8) from long range.
Lakers 27, Grizzlies 23 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers opened up an early seven-point lead, but the Grizzlies were able to trim it to four by the end of the first quarter.
Jodie Meeks led all scorers with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting. Playing against one of the better defensive teams in the NBA, the Lakers shot 57.1% from the field.
Jordan Hill started at center for the Lakers, despite struggling with a migraine earlier in the day, and had six points.
Center Marc Gasol had seven points for Memphis, which shot 42.9% from the field.
The Lakers (25-54) will finish their regular-season home schedule on Sunday when they host the Memphis Grizzlies (47-32) on Sunday night at Staples Center.
Memphis needs the win as they try to hold off the ninth-place Phoenix Suns (47-32) for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Lakers will play without Pau Gasol (vertigo), Chris Kaman (calf), Kobe Bryant (knee), Xavier Henry (knee, wrist), Steve Nash (back) and Kent Bazemore (foot).
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Grizzlies