NBA

Lakers catch short-handed Grizzlies off guard

(TSX / STATS) -- LOS ANGELES -- Memphis guard Tony Allen said the Los Angeles Lakers caught the Grizzlies by surprise Sunday.

D'Angelo Russell scored 28 points, and the Lakers ended a four-game skid with a 108-103 victory over the short-handed Grizzlies at Staples Center.

Julius Randle collected 18 points and 11 rebounds, Brandon Ingram scored 13 points, and Larry Nance Jr. added 12 points and 14 rebounds for Los Angeles (22-55). Thomas Robinson had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The Lakers took two of three from Memphis this season.

"It was fun. Everybody was stepping out of their box and playing well," said Russell, who scored 19 of his points in the second half. "We had a lot of guys contributing. It was cool."

Mike Conley and Troy Daniels scored 20 points each for Memphis (42-35). Conley (four) and Daniels (six) combined to hit 10 of the Grizzlies' 13 buckets from 3-point range. Conley also contributed 12 assists.

Brandan Wright chipped in 16 points, while James Ennis III scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Allen and Zach Randolph had 13 points apiece.

"Their speed, second-chance points, pick-and-roll coverages, 50-50 balls, it was a little bit of everything," said Allen, who made 6 of 8 shots from the floor and also grabbed nine rebounds. "It was rough."

Memphis failed to take advantage of the Oklahoma City Thunder's loss to the Charlotte Hornets and remained 1 1/2 games behind them for the sixth seed in the Western Conference.

"(Turnovers) killed us," Memphis coach David Fizdale said. "That's the game right there. The side out of bounds there when we threw the ball away and we had a timeout and didn't take it. Instead, we forced it and that killed us. We fouled while they were already in the bonus and put them up to the line too many times. We had opportunities; we just didn't take care of business."

The Grizzlies played without Marc Gasol (left foot strain), Vince Carter (rest), JaMychal Green (left shoulder soreness) and Andrew Harrison (right ankle injury). Fizdale gave playing time to eight players.

Lakers center Tarik Black (mild left knee sprain) also missed the game. Rookie center Ivica Zubac was ruled out for the season after sustaining a high ankle sprain in a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves last Thursday.

That forced the Lakers to start Nance in the middle, and he was quite effective. Robinson also helped the Lakers dictate inside. The Lakers outrebounded the Grizzlies 51-33, including 17-5 on the offensive end.

"I think we just went out there and competed and moved the ball," said Robinson, who had five offensive rebounds. "The guys had matchups that they took advantage of."

Tyler Ennis' basket with 1:39 left gave the Lakers a 99-97 edge and a tip-in by Nance with 1:07 remaining boosted the margin to four. Nance's basket was confirmed by an officials' review.

After a turnover by Ennis, Russell sank a pair of foul shots for a 103-97 lead with 57.8 seconds left.

A 3-pointer by Conley sliced the margin in half with 48 seconds remaining, but Randle made one of two free throws to put the Lakers up 104-100 with 29 seconds remaining.

Conley converted another trey with 16 seconds left to cut the deficit to one, but Ennis hit a pair of free throws with 11.6 seconds remaining for a 106-103 advantage.

Conley air-balled a 3-point attempt with six seconds remaining. Randle made both free throws to seal the win.

"We're a team that's resilient," Conley said. "Regardless of what the score is we're going to find our way back into the game. We made some plays, but unfortunately, we put ourselves in that position to be down with that minute to go. That's the frustrating part. You win a handful of those games that you come back, down six with a minute left and stuff like that, but we don't want to be there."

Memphis shot 50 percent from the floor compared to 47.1 percent for Los Angeles.

NOTES: Lakers rookie G David Nwaba, who scored a career-high 19 points off the bench Saturday in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, has been one of the team's surprises. "He's a winner. I think he really is. Every time he plays he sets the tone for us," Lakers coach Luke Walton said. Nwaba signed a multi-year deal with the Lakers on March 21. Before being called up to the Lakers, Nwaba averaged 13.9 points and seven rebounds in 38 games with the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League. Nwaba managed three points in 16 minutes against Memphis. ... The Grizzlies visit the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday. ... The Lakers play at San Antonio on Wednesday.

Updated April 2, 2017


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