Six Los Angeles Lakers scored in double digits as the purple and gold used a team effort to pull away from the depleted Memphis Grizzlies. In a game that was neck and neck for nearly 48 minutes, the Lakers ultimately prevailed in a sloppy but surprisingly watchable affair. Pretty much everyone failed to take care of the ball, with 23 combined first half turnovers en route to 41 total in the game. On the other hand, both offenses were humming along, with the Lakers and Grizzlies shooting 51% and 50% respectively in the game.
For the Lakers, Jordan Clarkson and Kobe Bryant led the way with 22 and 20 points. Clarkson shot 8-13, including 2 for 3 from downtown, and finished well in traffic. Bryant overcame a horrific 1-7 shooting performance in the first half to finish 7-18, including several vintage fadeaways against Tony "First Team All-Defense" Allen. Brandon Bass also chipped in 18 points, including several big baskets in the fourth that helped seal the victory.
Tony Allen singlehandedly kept the Grizzlies in the game with a career night from the field. Allen, who is currently averaging 8.7 points on 44% shooting, made all 12 of his shots for an impressive statline of 27 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and a steal for good measure. Zach Randolph and Lance Stephenson both contributed 16 points of their own. Former Laker Jordan Farmar, recently signed to a 10-day contract to serve as another warm body, struggled from the field but added 5 assists and 2 steals.
The other young Laker stars played well, but survived injury scares. D'Angelo Russell operated well in the post tonight, scoring 11 points on 5-10 shooting before banging knees with JaMychal Green and leaving the game as a precautionary measure. Double-double monster Julius Randle turned in a well-rounded performance with 13 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 combined blocks / steals. He also went out briefly in the fourth quarter after getting poked in the eye, but was able to finish the game.
Despite the win, the Lakers are still in pole position to retain their pick in this year's draft. Next up, the Lakers face the Phoenix Suns on the road, tipping off at 7 PM tomorrow night.
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