MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Lakers had "Get back on track" written on the board in their dressing room. Mike Conley and the Memphis Grizzlies wouldn't let that happen.
Conley scored 10 of his season-high 28 points in the fourth quarter, and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 98-96, on Tuesday night, sending the defending champions to their third straight loss.
It’s just the second three-game skid for the Lakers since they traded with Memphis for Pau Gasol in February 2008 to team him up with Kobe Bryant and first since March.
The Grizzlies now have won four straight at home and four of five overall.
The Lakers had a chance to at least tie the game or win at the end. Conley lost the ball when he drove the lane and crashed into Gasol. Bryant passed to Ron Artest for a 3-pointer for the win, but Rudy Gay blocked the shot as the Grizzlies held on for their second win in four games against the defending champions.
“I went middle and I had the shot that I wanted, but I lost the handle on the ball while I was going up, so I kicked it to Ron,” said Bryant, who finished with a game-high 29 points but was just 9-of-25 from the floor
Artest, who finished with 12 points, credited Gay with great defense.
“It was well-executed. I learned something from that today ,” Artest said of Gay’s block. “That was great execution. His close-out was perfect He closed out, chopped his feet a little bit. Stayed low, didn’t go totally for the head fake and recovered.”
Gay finished with 14 points, and Zach Randolph had 13 and eight rebounds for Memphis.