LOS ANGELES (AP) –– Mike Conley had 19 points and nine assists, Marc Gasol scored 18 points and the Memphis Grizzlies edged the Los Angeles Lakers 109-106 on Friday night.
Five players scored in double digits for the Southwest Division-leading Grizzlies, who maintained their one-game lead over Dallas while beating the Lakers for the ninth time in the last 11 meetings and fifth time in a row. Beno Udrih, the sixth and last player off the Memphis bench, had 16 points in 19 minutes.READ MORE: CDC, FDA Recommend Pausing J&J Vaccine Over Blood Clot Cases
Tayshaun Prince had a pair of clutch baskets in the final 1:22 to help the Grizzlies hold on for the win.
Ed Davis and reserve Jeremy Lin each had 20 points for Los Angeles. Kobe Bryant finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, but missed a potential tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Carlos Boozer scored 14 points in 21 minutes before fouling out with 6:01 remaining and the Lakers down 93-88. Teammate Jordan Hill fouled out on an offensive charge with 3:31 to play and the Lakers down 100-96.
Los Angeles was facing a six-point deficit before Nick Young hit a 3-pointer and converted a breakaway layup off his steal of Conley to slice the deficit to 97-96 with 4:18 left. But the Grizzlies responded with Conley’s 3-pointer and a pair of free throws by Gasol.
Courtney Lee missed one of two free throws with 0.6 seconds remaining, giving the Lakers one more chance, and Bryant’s quick release on the inbounds play went off the rim.
Memphis forward Zach Randolph missed his sixth straight game because of soreness in his right knee. But the Grizzlies improved to 24-8 in the best start in franchise history.READ MORE: 'It's Heartbreaking': ArcLight Cinemas, Pacific Theatres Closing Permanently Due To Pandemic Losses
Lin made his first five shots and was 6 for 8 from the field with 13 points in his first 13 minutes, leading the Lakers to a 52-47 halftime lead. His fifth basket was 3-pointer that gave them their biggest lead, 34-22, with 10:02 left in the second quarter.
Memphis forward Tony Allen had a night to forget, scoring five points in 16 minutes on 2-for-9 shooting. During one sequence with the Grizzlies trailing 41-35, he blew an easy layup on a breakaway after intercepting a bad pass by Davis and then missed three tip-in attempts — all in a span of 11 seconds. On the third one, teammate Kosta Koufos was called for offensive goaltending with 4:58 left in the half.
Grizzlies: Memphis improved to 16-4 against Western Conference teams. … Randolph, who was obtained by Memphis in a July 2009 trade with the Clippers, is 62 rebounds away from overtaking Gasol’s brother Pau for the Grizzlies’ franchise record.
Lakers: Los Angeles’ 10-23 start is the second-worst in the franchise’s 67-year history. The 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers won eight of their first 33 games. The club got off to an 11-22 start in 1959-60, and again in 1993-94. … F Ryan Kelly, who had been limited to three games all season because of hamstring injuries, played for the first time since Nov. 16. … Davis, playing with a clear facemask for the first time since he got a broken nose on a foul by Denver’s Nate Robinson, blocked a shot by Allen 2:06 after opening tip.
Grizzlies: At Denver on Saturday.MORE NEWS: 'We Are Seeing Our Economy Come Back To Life': Study Shows That Consumer Confidence In OC Is On The Rise As Residents Brace For Light At The End Of The Tunnel
Lakers: Host Indiana on Sunday.