Lakers' 'rough year' continues with 102-90 loss to Grizzlies

The Lakers gave out gas cards, fast-food coupons and casino getaways on fan appreciation night.

They couldn't give their fans a victory, much like the rest of the season.

The Memphis Grizzlies needed a win to help stay in playoff contention and got it, 102-90, Sunday at Staples Center.

BOX SCORE: Grizzlies 102, Lakers 90

The Lakers (25-55) added to their most losses ever and finished 14-27 at home, their worst home record in 66 seasons of the franchise's existence.

There wasn't much to report on the court — Jodie Meeks had 20 points, Wesley Johnson a career-high 15 rebounds — but one of the draft's top projected picks, Kansas center Joel Embiid, watched from a courtside seat across from the Lakers' bench.

He wore a Jayhawks cap Sunday and not much of a facial expression. His father, Thomas, sat next to him, thumbing through a Lakers magazine while wearing a Minnesota Timberwolves cap.

Embiid stayed for all of Sunday's game, unlike many Lakers fans.

Nobody recognized him as he went up and down the stairs at halftime for a brief trip to the concourse. That would change quickly if the Lakers somehow ended up with him.

They would need significant help on lottery day (May 20). They are tied for the NBA's fifth-worst record, good for only an 8.8% chance at the top pick if they stay in a tie with Boston and win a coin flip.

The Lakers had a handful of good victories this season — the Clippers on opening night, at Houston, at Portland, at home against Oklahoma City — but the two victories that could haunt them came against their bitter rival.

The Lakers swept Boston, typically a reason to feel good about the franchise, though they'd have the fifth-worst record all to themselves if not for those victories.

The Lakers play Utah (24-56) on Monday, when the final score might be 31-28.

Neither team benefits from winning because they are within a game of each other in the standings. The ball might drop to the court after the referee tosses up the opening tip. Pingpong ball percentages are more important at this point.

"We're going to try to [win]," Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Sorry."

If the Lakers finish below Boston and Utah to grab the NBA's fourth-worst record, their chances at the top pick improve to 11.9%.

The Lakers stayed in Sunday's game until halfway through the third quarter, fading as Memphis realized the need to keep pace with Golden State, Phoenix and Dallas for the last three Western Conference playoff spots.

"Sometime there in the third … the air went out of us," said D'Antoni, who could have easily replaced "the third" with "February" without any argument.

It was possibly the last home game for 11 Lakers who become free agents in July, 12 if you include Nick Young, who will probably decline a player option for $1.2 million.

"Some guys improved, but obviously that will be on management to get a good enough roster," D'Antoni said before mentioning Lakers executives Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss. "I'm sure Mitch and Jim will work on that all summer. Gotta get lucky. I mean, it's not the easiest thing in the world. But they'll do a good job."

Mike Conley had 24 points and made nine of 12 shots for Memphis, not the first time the Lakers were blistered by amazing accuracy from a point guard.

D'Antoni acknowledged the obvious, calling the last seven months a "rough year."

"It's time to turn the page," he said. "It's been a long page."

Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan

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