The Lakers didn’t play poorly Tuesday but there was that obvious breakdown in communication on who should take the last shot. Here are five takeaways from their 107-102 loss at Memphis.
1) History will remember it as the night Kobe Bryant set the NBA mark with 13,418 career missed shots. But he couldn’t even get a shot in the possession that mattered most.
2) Byron Scott stepped up and took the blame, his first “my bad” as the Lakers’ coach. He claimed he should have shown Jeremy Lin visually what play he wanted instead of screaming it across the court. The Lakers’ chances ended up riding on Jordan Hill, not Bryant, the equivalent of the big handoff going to the fullback instead of the stud running back.
3) Scott was slapped with a technical foul in the third quarter after Bryant was called for a foul on Courtney Lee. Scott was obviously upset at the free-throw disparity: Memphis was 16 of 18 at the time, the Lakers six of eight. The Lakers ended up with nine fewer free-throw attempts than the Grizzlies. Scott might have had a point.
4) Lin had his moments before the final miscommunication. He scored on a short jumper after bouncing off Zach Randolph on a drive. Found Bryant for a fast-break layup. Weaved through the Memphis defense and fed Ed Davis for a dunk. Took the ball authoritatively on a drive, got knocked on the head by Tony Allen, went to the free-throw line. If only he had heard Scott correctly.
5) Here’s a potentially long time-killer: When will the Lakers win their first road game? They’re in New Orleans on Wednesday and have a road trip next week through Atlanta, Houston and Dallas. Still not sure? There’s an early December road trip to Detroit, Washington and Boston. Then a mid-December jaunt through San Antonio, Minnesota and Indiana. It has to have happened by the end of that trip. Doesn’t it?
Follow Mike Bresnahan on Twitter @Mike_Bresnahan