Lakers are outworked and outhustled in 104-85 loss to the Grizzlies
A lack of energy. A poor effort. A lack of focus.
Those are some buzz words Lakers Coach Phil Jackson used Sunday at Staples Center after an inexplicable 104-85 loss to a Memphis Grizzlies team that was playing on consecutive nights.
The Lakers have lost four of their last six games, all by double digits, this one to a team that is 15-19.
“I’ll just say they came out tonight and got outworked by a team that played [Saturday] night, lost in Utah, had to fly back in here for a ballgame,” Jackson said. “I think we took for granted the fact that we’ve been beaten in Memphis and everybody thought we were going to come out here and play better and no one took responsibility on themselves to play better.”
That, Jackson said, “bothered him.”
“One of the things about having a day off with this team is that they lose focus,” Jackson said. “They had a day off [Saturday], and I’ll learn better from that.”
His team got booed, starting with a low murmur in the third quarter and building into a loud roar in the fourth when the Lakers got down by 26 points.
His star, Kobe Bryant, tried to take the game into his hands in the third quarter, and then became frustrated in the fourth when he was unable to carry the Lakers.
Bryant, who finished with 28 points on 10-for-22 shooting, was assessed a technical foul with 6:19 left for yelling at the officials after he had made a shot. It was his fifth technical foul in his last six games.
Afterwards, he maintained that the Lakers will “be fine.”
“It’s how you address this, these issues, trying to push the opportunity [and] not just kind of sweep it under the rug,” Bryant said. “I think it’s important to focus on it and try and get this thing corrected as opposed to just playing it out and seeing what happens.”
Bryant became assertive in the third quarter, scoring 17 points, looking for a way to push his team.
“I just felt like we had no energy,” Bryant said. " … So I tried to generate some of that and just get us started, but we weren’t able to carry it through.”
Bryant took 12 of the team’s 22 shots in the third.
“Kobe had to screw up the game and start energizing the team by going one-on-one,” Jackson said. “That takes the rest of the guys out and as a consequence, that didn’t bring us back in.”
The Lakers turned the ball over 20 times, part of why Memphis had 28 fast-break points.
Memphis, which got 27 points from Rudy Gay and 21 from Zach Randolph, out-rebounded the Lakers, 44-37.
Memphis shot 50% (six for 12) from three-point range. Memphis had 30 assists, the Lakers 13.
“Well, they were outworked tonight,” Jackson said. “Memphis played harder than they did.”
The Lakers have lost three of their last four games at home, all by double digits.
For Pau Gasol, it’s puzzling how the Lakers have lost four of the last six by an average of 17.2 points per game.
“I don’t understand why and how, basically why it’s happening now and how we lost four of the last six games by 20 points of margin,” said Gasol, who finished with 10 points, just four in the second half on two-for-four shooting. “That’s something that my head is not processing right now, the motives. But there’s got to be some, for sure.”