Zach Randolph made a 3-foot basket with 16 seconds left to give the Memphis Grizzlies an 86-83 lead on their way to an 89-86 win against the Los Angeles Lakers Friday at Staples Center.
Randolph scored 14 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter as the Grizzlies outscored the Lakers, 26-20, to get their first win of the year on the road (1-3). Memphis improved to 4-5 overall.
“I thought we played as hard as we could, ” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said at his postgame press conference. “Zach hit some big shots, I’ve known him for 10 years and he’s a load.”
Jodie Meeks pumped in a season-high 25 points for L.A., dropping to 4-7 with the loss. He made 10-of-16 field goals, including 5-of-9 on 3-pointers.
“We got the shots we wanted,” he said to Time Warner Cable SportsNet’s Jon Ireland. “Steve did a great job of finding me, I tried to move a lot without the ball. Just a lot of hard work and dedication [on my part].”
Meeks was just 1-of-5 for three points in the Lakers’ 111-99 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. But, he has the mindset of a shooter and scorer. He was on fire from the field against Memphis’ Tony Allen, who has a reputation as one of the strongest defenders in the NBA.
“We don’t have Kobe, we have to find a way to score,” D’Antoni said. “He’s not going to be here for the near future.”
Nick Young scored 18 points, Jordan Hill added 10 points and five rebounds, Pau Gasol chipped in with 10 points and 13 rebounds, but he continues a season-long struggle shooting the ball. He converted just 4-of-12 field goals and is making just 39% on the season. Steve Blake scored 9 points, dished out 10 assists, grabbed seven rebounds and had two steals.
Hill and Williams spearheaded a strong defensive effort. Hill and Williams blocked three shots and snagged a steal. It was the Lakers’ best defensive effort all season, albeit in a loss.
“The defense played well,” D’Antoni said. “They played better, there were just some little things that separated the two teams tonight.”
Marc Gasol added 18 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, three blocks and three steals. Allen scored 12 points.
Darren Jacks is a regular contributor to OneManFastBreak.net. Follow him on Twitter @djroxalot.